You’ve made the decision to file for divorce, but you are now concerned with how this choice will impact your kids. You and your soon-to-be ex are willing to prioritize the needs of your children by working together to create a parenting plan that will be strong and sustainable for years to come. This is a practical way to create a stable future for the youngest members of your California family.

Even when two parents are amicable, it can be difficult to set aside temporary emotions and focus on what will truly be best for the children. Creating a parenting plan can be complicated and frustrating, and it is helpful to know what you need to consider to make sure you’re seeking terms that will make sense long-term. With the right perspective, you can shield your kids from unnecessary upheaval and emotional duress.

Practical, prudent terms

The terms of your parenting plan will affect your family for years to come, and this is why it is important to think through everything as you negotiate and discuss details. Keeping your focus on the following things during this process can be helpful:

  • What makes sense for your schedule? If you have a non-traditional work schedule or your kids have unique educational needs, your parenting plan should reflect this. You can custom-tailor a plan that works for your family.
  • What is best for the kids? Even if something works for you, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s best for your children. Creating a strong parenting plan may require you to set aside your own emotions.
  • How will you communicate? You and the other parent need a plan by which you will discuss things pertaining to the care of your children. You will also need a plan for disputes and unexpected issues that may arise in the future.
  • How will you make decisions? Legal custody refers to the rights parents have to make important decisions for their children. You and the other parent need to know how you will decide on things such as education, religious upbringing and more.
  • Who will pay for things? Outside of child support, there will be financial needs related to the care of your children. Addressing these unexpected expenses should be in your parenting plan.

If you have the goal of creating a parenting plan on your own, you do not have to chase this goal on your own. You may find it helpful to work with an experienced attorney as you work to provide your kids with a plan that will uniquely suit their needs and your parental rights for the months and years ahead.