Creating a parenting plan during a divorce can feel like navigating uncharted territory. However, according to California Courts, when you separate from your partner, you need a parenting plan. One that covers everything from holidays to healthcare, and guides both parties on how to make decisions concerning the child’s upbringing post-divorce. In this month’s blog, we’ll explain to you what a parenting plan is and how you can create an effective one.
What is a Parenting Plan?
In essence, a parenting plan is a written agreement that outlines how parents will raise their children after separation or divorce. It typically covers aspects like living arrangements, schooling, healthcare, and holiday arrangements. The goal is to provide a sense of normalcy and stability for the children amidst significant change.
Steps to Create a Parenting Plan
Step 1: Prioritize Your Child’s Best Interest
Start by discussing the core issues related to your child’s upbringing. This includes deciding who will make decisions on education, healthcare, and religious activities, among other things. The plan should also include the child’s residential schedule, detailing where the child will reside on weekdays, weekends, and during holidays. Parents should always prioritize the child’s best interests when creating this schedule, considering their age, schooling, and social commitments. Another essential element to consider is communication. The plan should outline how and when the child can communicate with the non-custodial parent, and how parents will communicate with each other about child-related matters.
Related: Learn more about if a child can choose custody here.
Step 2: Plan for Changes and Dispute Resolution
Once you have drafted your parenting plan, it’s a good idea to include guidelines for handling unexpected or unplanned situations. This includes provisions for relocating, modifying the parenting plan, resolving disputes, and dealing with emergencies. In these instances, it’s helpful to include a commitment to use mediation or counseling before resorting to court intervention. Additionally, outline the procedure for introducing significant others or new spouses to the child. It’s important that these additional guidelines be flexible and considerate of changing circumstances, always maintaining focus on the child’s wellbeing above all.
Related: Learn about why you should try mediation before legal action here.
Get Help From Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates
At Family Law Richard E. Young & Associates, we understand that creating a parenting plan is more than just assigning dates on a calendar. It’s about establishing a new way of parenting, one that puts the child’s interests at the center. We’re here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring that your parenting plan addresses all the important areas and is tailored to your family’s unique needs. You don’t have to do this alone. Call us at (949) 951-9529 or visit www.richardeyoungattorney.net to get started on creating a comprehensive parenting plan.