For many parents, drafting the parenting plan is one of the most complex and challenging parts of handling a child custody case. Knowing what to aim for when you're putting together a parenting plan can help you achieve the best results for your child and co-parenting relationship moving forward.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your child custody case, contact us online or via phone at (626) 340-0955.
Always Keep the Child's Interests at the Front of the Conversation
Before continuing, it's important to note that much of this advice is given under the assumption that you and your parent both want the best for your child and can work together to draft a parenting plan that serves them. If this is not the case, speak with your attorney about how you can ensure you push for the best custody arrangement for your child.
As a parent, you understandably want to spend the most time you can with your child. But what if your co-parent lives closer to a better school, and giving them a little more custody time would make it easier for your child to receive a better education?
By keeping your child's needs at the forefront of the conversation, it becomes easier for both parties to compromise to ensure their child gets the resources they need and deserve. Making such compromises may be difficult, but your co-parenting relationship - and more importantly, your relationship with your child - will benefit from it in the long run.
Ensure Boundaries Are Consistent Across Households
You want to avoid a dynamic where one parent becomes "cool" while the other one is "unfun" or seen as a rules enforcer.
Make sure that you and your co-parent agree on - and enforce - boundaries for things such as how much time your child can spend on social media or playing games, their curfew, when they do their homework, expectations for extracurricular activities, etc.
Make a Plan for School Breaks
Most states have a basic plan for helping parents divvy up holidays equitably, but taking some extra time to think about how you'll handle breaks and vacations now will save you time and stress down the road.
For example, will you spend holidays such as Thanksgiving or Christmas together as a family? Or does one parent get Christmas Eve while the other one gets Christmas Day? If so, how do you divide that up? What if one parent doesn't celebrate Christmas, but respects a different cultural tradition that conflicts with it? How much advance notification should you give each other if you want to take your child on vacation? How far can you travel with your child?
Finding the answers to these questions is vital if you want to enhance the quality of your parenting plan.
Set Boundaries for Communication
Can your co-parent text you anytime, anywhere, and be able to expect a prompt response? Can they call? Can they communicate with your child over games or video chat while they're staying with you?
Having communicational boundaries is important if you want to maintain a good relationship with your co-parent. Find something that both of you feel comfortable with - it will help you work together to provide the best life for your child.
Our attorneys can help you develop a co-parenting arrangement that ensures your child has the resources they need to thrive. Contact us online or via phone at (626) 340-0955 to schedule a consultation with our team.