When you and your spouse decide you no longer wish to stay married, you will need to create a parenting plan to go along with your separation. This parenting plan is important because it will determine the responsibilities of both parents in regards to their roles as parents once the marriage has been dissolved.

Often times parenting responsibilities and privileges are some of the most hotly-contested issues in family law, making a properly-developed parenting plan vital to the happiness of both parents and critical to the development of the children. As a result, these parenting plans can be extremely detailed in certain situations in order to ensure there is a plan for nearly any circumstances that may arise.

Since each family is unique, it is important to discuss your parenting plan with an experienced San Diego family lawyer, but here are a few things which you should consider including in your own plan regardless of the nature of your divorce.

Child Custody

There are two types of child custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody means where the child will primarily live, when they will be there, when the other parent will get visitation time, and a number of other issues. There are two types of physical custody: Sole/Primary custody where the children live primarily or entirely with one parent, and joint custody which means the children live with both parents equally.

Legal custody has to do with the decision making about a child’s life, such as where they will attend school, what kinds of activities they will be involved with, and what kinds of medical treatments they will receive. Just like physical custody, there are also two types: sole legal custody (where one parent makes all of these decisions) and joint legal custody (where both parents work together to make these decisions in their children’s best interests).

Visitation Plan

Visitation is when each parent gets to spend time with their child. A parenting plan will usually detail out when each parent is given these visitation rights, and can even consider extended family as well. The visitation plan can also make important reference to instances such as holidays and exchange locations.

Consideration for your Children

The most important aspect to a parenting plan is that it takes the needs of each child into consideration based on their exact situation, not just a general idea of what they may want. A good parenting plan will take numerous aspects of a child’s life into consideration, such as:

  • Age and needs

  • Temperament

  • Attachment to each parent

  • Education

  • Social life and extracurricular activities

  • Parental contact

  • Safety

Depending on the nature of your divorce and how well you work with your spouse, your parenting plan will consider these and numerous other factors when deciding on things such as what kinds of custody each parent will receive and what visitation is granted.

The most important aspect to each parenting plan is that it must place the best interests and needs of the children involved at the forefront of all decisions made. Therefore it is important to seek out quality representation for your divorce proceedings from a skilled lawyer. The legal team at Fair Cadora, APC have dedicated their practice and their legal talents to assisting those in the San Diego area with family law needs.

Please call the firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.