What should you learn about crafting a viable parenting plan in your San Diego divorce? If you and your former spouse wish to co-parent your children and share physical and legal custody you will need a thorough “parenting plan.”
An effective parenting plan should absolutely reflect the best interests of each child, not the wishes of either or both parents. The Court will evaluate your parenting plan from one perspective: the best interests of each child. It is helpful to keep this priority in mind when crafting a viable parenting plan for your San Diego divorce.
Generally speaking, California family law establishes it is in a child’s best interest to spend equal quality time with each parent. A 50/50 split of time between households is an obvious starting point. However, every family is unique and a strong parenting plan should continue the existing “rhythms” in your child(ren)’s experience prior to the divorce.
How will the co-parents share the responsibility of providing food, clothing, shelter and health care for the child(ren)? What are the physical and emotional needs of each child? Are there unique issues associated with the physical or emotional health of a child? These should be extensively addressed when crafting a viable parenting plan in your San Diego divorce.
It is best to attempt to preserve as much of each child’s existing patterns as possible. How are you going to keep them in the same school? How will the co-parents balance responsibilities associated with religious practices, extracurricular activities as well as maintaining important relationships with friends and extended family members?
When crafting a viable parenting plan in your San Diego divorce you will need to at least consider the wishes of each child. The Court will. The Judge will want to hear the wishes of any child who can present a reasonable perspective on what they believe is best and why. This can be a challenging emotional issue and there are a lot of relationship dynamics in play in these cases.
There may also be characteristics of parental alienation beneath these requests. The Court will ultimately get to the bottom of it. Remember, the Court is interested in the best interest of the child.
Where will each parent live? What are the work schedules and employment demands for each parent (during and after “normal” work hours)?
The next step in crafting a viable parenting plan in your San Diego divorce is to develop a schedule for each child between the households of the co-parents. There are many potential combinations to ensure equal time with each parent while preserving the normal rhythms of each child’s existing schedule.
Your parenting plan must address communications. This includes communications between the co-parents in normal times as well as when a challenge or concern arises. It should also provide for easy communications between a child and each co-parent.
Crafting a viable parenting plan in your San Diego divorce is one of the most challenging aspects in many cases. Mediation may be a cost-effective and timely option for those who find it challenging to reach agreement. Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.