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What should you include in your plan for parenting time?

Tustin parents who are raising children after the end of their marriage (or parents who never were married and are no longer in a relationship with one another) face a number of challenges. Assuming there are no issues with violence or abuse in the family, both parents will likely be sharing at least some time with their children. To do so effectively, they'll need a parenting plan.

A parenting plan is an agreement in writing about how time will be shared and how important decisions affecting the children will be made. A solid parenting plan helps reduce the likelihood of misunderstandings and disputes involving child custody. So, what should Tustin residents include when formulating a parenting plan?

The parenting plan, of course, will have to indicate where the children will live. It will also have to outline when they will spend time with the other parent, and how much time. It may or may not include overnights. It should break down a schedule for weeknights and weekends, holidays, birthdays and summer breaks. A parenting plan should also describe how parents will manage transportation and drop-offs when the children go from spending time with one parent to the other. These types of questions all deal with what is known as physical custody.

Legal custody questions should also be addressed in the parenting plan. This means that the parents should agree how they will make decisions about things like school and outside of school care, health care (including mental health), and emergency situations. For some of these, parents may be comfortable letting each other make the call; in others, the parenting plan may stipulate that a decision must be made together.

This information comes from the California Courts website and is intended to be general in nature, not specific legal advice. We'll continue on our family law blog with a follow-up look at how parents can put their parenting plan to good use in different situations.

Source: The Judicial Branch of California, "Parenting Plans," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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