When you are preparing for a divorce in the state of California, the law requires that you include a parenting plan. According to our child custody and visitation lawyers, this is an important document that the court takes very seriously.

Stick To The Plan

Divorce is not fun. It can bring out the worst in anyone. However, you cannot let your emotions or feelings get in the way while working on this plan. This is not the time to talk about the reasons for the divorce. It is about creating a plan that is good for your child and works for both parents. Keep your focus on the plan.

Reality Check

The way your home is run and the schedule you work with is not going to be the same as your partners. Do not assume that their life didn’t change when they moved out. The parenting plan is about the time that is dedicated to the child. It is about finding a way between you to take him or her to their activities and taking care of events that sometimes get in the way.

Things To Include In Your Plan:

• What days and times will your child spend with each parent?
• How will you divide holidays?
• Vacations
*How much notice will be needed?
*Who will pay for the expenses?
*How will you be traveling?
• Who is the child allowed to stay with?
*Can they stay with grandparents, aunts, uncles, or close friends?
*Will any of these people be allowed to pick the child up from school or activities?
*Can anyone on this list pick the child up or drop them off at the primary home?
* Is there anyone on the list that the child is not to be around?
*Are there any places you want to declare off limits?
• How will you communicate? If you have issues talking together, can you text or email?
• If there is an emergency, who will they call first?

Finances, Insurance, And Medical Costs

Include your child support payment and your alimony payments as well. Also, determine the following:

• Who will be responsible for keeping your child covered by medical insurance?
• Who will pay deductibles or copays?
• How will expenses for the child be divided? Even though you pay child support, the money hardly covers food, shelter, and basics. If they need a new coat, school uniforms, how will the additional expenses be met?
• Do not allow your child on the battlefield. If you have to argue with your child in the room, they feel responsible.
• Where and when will you exchange the child?
• If your spouse is in a relationship with someone else, can that person come with them (on your property) to pick up the child?
• How many miles from home can the spouse take the child?

Making It A Court Order

Once you have agreed on the parenting plan, you can give it to the judge. The judge will usually review it and sign. Then, you can file it with the court, and it is part of your divorce.

Be fair and reasonable. Things happen that cannot be helped. Remember, it is not about you. It is not about punishing your ex. Trying to get even with someone based on their agreement will be noticed by the judge, and it will not end well for you.

For more information, speak to our child custody and visitation attorneys now.