Divorce is hard for any California family, regardless of the circumstances. It’s important to plan for what happens after the divorce, especially if you and your ex-spouse have young children together.
Something that can help ease the transition after a divorce is a co-parenting plan. These parenting plans spell out how parents will share and split time with the children, as well as answer any questions regarding parenting and developmental needs.
What should a parenting plan include?
Usually, a parenting plan will address custody arrangements and ensure that each parent can maximize their time with their children. Parenting plans will also address what parent is responsible for things in the children’s life – like managing health and finances, or transportation to and from school.
Occasionally, parenting plans can be expanded to include things like where the child goes to school, what religious activities they get to participate in, etc. This is used to help make decisions for the child while ensuring both parents are on the same page.
What are the other benefits of a parenting plan?
Another huge benefit of a co-parenting plan is that it accounts for each parent’s needs from work to other responsibilities and more. This reduces the chance of conflict between the two parents going forward.
Creating your parenting plan will also ensure that everyone’s best interests are met. Occasionally, a judge will create the custody or co-parenting plan if the parents can’t agree, but this isn’t preferable.
How do I set up a parenting plan?
Having a stable schedule that’s been agreed upon by everyone not only reduces conflict, but it reduces uncertainty for the child. This allows them to feel stable with the new arrangement.
It takes some time and a lot of communication between you and your ex-spouse to set up a parenting plan. But having a stable co-parenting plan to refer back to can make raising your child in a difficult time so much easier.