Parenting Plan Guidelines in California
If you and your ex-spouse are sharing custody, or will be creating a visitation schedule, there are several things to consider as you plan for the years ahead. Although there are undoubtedly emotions involved in a divorce or child custody battle, it is best to set the emotions aside when you are working together to make a custody schedule. The team of attorneys at Bez Law Firm, P.C. understand that there are always unique circumstances that can complicate a visitation schedule. For this reason, we compiled a list of 10 things to consider, or keep in mind, to help you as you create a parenting plan.
10 Things to Consider for Your Parenting Plan
When you and your ex discuss your custody schedule and division of parenting, consider the following factors to help create a well-rounded and reasonable parenting plan:
- Consider logistics: When creating a visitation schedule, consider where you and your ex each live, where your child’s school is, where any after school activity are, etc.
- Put your children first: Don’t make the schedule more difficult or complicated out of spite; it will only hurt your children in the long run. It is best to keep the children’s stability and comfort in mind. Keep in mind that different schedules work for different ages, and that as your children age, the schedule may better work if adjusted accordingly.
- Distribute children’s belongings: Make sure that your child has adequate clothing and toys at both homes, or even duplicates at each house of his or her favorite things.
- Discuss the holidays: Discuss who would like to have the children on which holidays. Consider what each family celebrates, what will be the most fun and memorable for your children, and how you can equally share holiday time.
- Share school vacation: Summer break, spring break, and winter break may be times to split custody in half, or arrange the schedule based on traditions for vacations, outings, or other family visiting. If the father will be taking the kids on a vacation every July, then maybe the mother can keep them in June.
- Include discipline guidelines: It is helpful to set guidelines for discipline including agreeing upon if and how they will create a united front with discipline. Consider carrying over punishment, such as grounding, regardless of which house the child is at.
- Be flexible: Know that you will most likely have a few conflicting ideas about your parenting plan, and that it helps to have an experienced attorney around to work through conflicts and provide suggestions.
- Consider your job: When creating a parenting plan, consider how your job will impact the time you have available for your children. Be realistic with how available you are, and what will be best for the kids. If you are going to have them sit with a babysitter while you are at work, that time is better spent with the other parent.
- Talk to your kids: If they are old enough, consider getting input from your children for which days and times they want to be at which house. Children are often more logical in these situations that adults give them credit for and may provide useful insight if given the chance.
- Plan for emergencies: If you and your spouse live a good distance apart, be sure to set up emergency plans for if you must leave the house, who can help with kids in an emergency, and where to find them if something happens. For example, if one child gets hurt, enlist the closest friend’s family to help with your other child while you go to the ER, and make sure the other parent knows the family and vice versa.
Need Help with Your Plan? Call Us at (916) 512-8944.
If you need help creating a custody schedule or parenting plan, our team of experienced, understanding attorneys at Bez Law Firm, P.C. can help. We will work with you to outline the priorities, determine what is best for your children, and decide what will fit your family’s lifestyle. All families are different, and we know that your schedule will be as unique as your situation. We can help you find a solution that will work for the whole family.
Contact our team today at (916) 512-8944.