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California Parenting Plans: What To Include

One of the most valuable documents parents can have in the aftermath of a divorce is a clear, comprehensive parenting plan. This agreement can serve as a guidebook for what will be expected of parents as they transition into parenting a child together but separately.

Below are some examples of what you may want to include in your plan.

Schedules

One of the most essential pieces of any California parenting plan is the scheduling information, including custody and visitation details.

A parenting plan will likely include a weekly or monthly breakdown of when the child will be with each parent and specific details regarding visitation. You will also want to include information on the custodial schedule for non-school year times such as holidays and summer vacations.

Restrictions

Restrictions can be essential in setting boundaries and prioritizing a child's best interests. While parents should refrain from attempting to control each other via the parenting plan, to the extent that the child has a similar experience re daily rules at both houses, it is that much easier for the child.

You might also agree to restrict either parent from traveling with the child without permission, engaging in disruptive communication with the child or disparaging the other parent in front of the child.

Methods of Dispute Resolution

Should a dispute arise, your parenting plan can provide guidance and rules for how to resolve the disagreement. You might include penalties for visitation violations or agree to resolve problems through mediation instead of taking the matter to court.

You could also agree to participate in co-parenting or family dynamic counseling, in an effort to help you (the parents) address issues that might lead to disputes in the future.

Building A Plan That Works For You

Because of how important a parenting plan can be, it is crucial that you work with an attorney when you are creating it. Doing so can confirm that the agreement is fair and reflects the best interests of your child. It also helps ensure that the document is enforceable and does not violate the rights of either parent. With a solid parenting plan in place, it can be easier to navigate the challenges of custody and visitation.

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