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What should we consider when drafting a parenting plan?

California couples may find that going through a divorce is emotionally agonizing, especially with matters related to the children. Whether your divorce is amicable or particularly contentious, child custody issues and drawing up a parenting plan may need the assistance of a mediator. The objective input of a third party, along with his or her experience, may be invaluable.

Family courts often leave it up to parents to work out a parenting and visitation plan, and they may prescribe visitation orders as "reasonable" or "liberal," without dictating specifics. It is, therefore, advisable for parents to utilize the available help to come to mutually accepted agreements. While friends and family will provide a liberal supply of advice that is based on their experiences, each family's circumstances are different, and a plan to suit your unique circumstances would probably serve your family best.

Throughout the process, parents may want to remember that the relationship between parent and child is very special and should be protected by keeping their interests in mind. Children are known to thrive on rules and order, and a well-drafted parenting plan may provide them with a sense of stability. It is important to regard a parenting plan as a legal document that is in writing and will stand up in court. It should be signed by both parents to affirm their understanding of the details. Such a document may avoid confusion and misunderstandings, along with resentment that may lead to future litigation.

California couples that are going through a divorce may recognize that the process is as much of an emotional roller coaster experience for the children as it is for the parents. With proper guidance, a parenting plan to cause minimum trauma can be negotiated. To find out how we can assist your family with the transition to the new, separate households, please visit our family law website.

Source:, "How do my spouse and I devise a visitation schedule?", , Sept. 19, 2014

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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