The decision to file for divorce is a major, sometimes life-altering decision. This can be especially true for couples who have minor children. And, for the children, the divorce process can also be a very difficult time. One strategy that many couples employ - if they are on good enough terms despite the divorce - is to work toward a mutually satisfactory agreement regarding as many of the issues that need to be addressed in the divorce as possible. One of the biggest issues to address is usually a child custody arrangement and parenting time plan.
In the vast majority of cases, parents who divorce will no longer be living together. That usually means that the ex-spouses' children will need to go from one parent's house to another from time to time. However, many of our readers have likely heard the reports that studies are showing this can have a negative effect on children. As a result, California courts are pushing for couples to reach their own agreements, even if that involves mediation.
A parenting plan will incorporate several different aspects of the parents' ongoing relationship with the children. For starters, the parents will need to determine how major decisions affecting the children will be made, and who will make them. Next, the parents will need to determine when and where the children will spend their time.
Many parents may think, "When will I get to see my kids?" But, the California courts urge parents to think in terms of what is best for the children, to ensure that the children feel loved and protected, and that the children are receiving the right guidance.
Source: courts.ca.gov, "Parenting Plans," Accessed Sept. 19, 2015