Developing A Parenting Plan In California

An overlooked component of becoming empowered is facing your challenges. Avoiding complex discussions around subjects such as child custody may feel good for a moment. Each time you dismiss it, it becomes more powerful and daunting. If you are a parent going through a divorce, you are likely concerned about what your relationship with your children will look like afterward. Will your kids have a new stepparent? How much time will I get to see them? What if my spouse keeps booking appointments for the kids during my visitation time? 

One of the cures for these anxious thoughts is to take action. Your parenting plan will address many of the concerns you have regarding your children. Instead of worrying, talk with your family law attorney about crafting a plan that fits your family’s needs. 

A Basic Overview 

In California, parenting plans are referred to as “custody and visitation plans.” They outline your rights and responsibilities as they pertain to your children. Think of it as a contract between you and your former spouse. Both parents will sign it, and a judge will approve it. 

Before we go over what should be included in one, you must understand the difference between legal and physical custody. Legal custody speaks to your ability to make decisions for the child regarding issues such as education, religion, and medical treatment. Physical custody is regarding where the child lives. Parents can have joint physical and legal custody. Or the child could live with one parent 70% of the time. That other parent would be the “non-custodial parent” and have visitation rights if it is in the child’s best interest. 

Important Considerations

If you are anxious about the unknown, this is your ability to address it. When you and your attorney are drafting a parenting plan, you can include a significant amount of detail. 

  • How will you handle physical and legal custody?
  • Where will pick up and drop off occur?
  • What time will that happen?
  • How will you divide holidays and school vacations?
  • If there are medical bills, who will pay for them? 
  • If you and your spouse disagree, how will it get resolved? 

If something is important to you, inform your lawyer so they can incorporate it into the plan. Your spouse may push back on it, but your attorneys can negotiate. Both sides will likely have to compromise. That said, understand where you are unwilling to bend, where you are willing, and what you are indifferent about. This gives your attorney room to negotiate with your spouse’s lawyer. 

Build a Plan & Feel Empowered

At Empower Law Group, we know how challenging it is to confront many issues surrounding custody and visitation. We have extensive experience developing parenting plans and specialized visitation agreements and are here to support you. If you have any further questions or are ready to speak with an attorney, contact Empower Law Group to schedule your consultation

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Empower Law Group

My practice is entirely focused on helping families and children navigate the sometimes complex and often confusing world of family law, guardianships, domestic violence, reunification, and litigation. I bring compassion to my work and am dedicated to finding the proper resolution for you and your particular family law dilemma. I am accessible and meticulous about ensuring you receive the attention you deserve. We aim to empower you to create the next great chapter of your life.

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