2 Main Purposes of Parenting Plans in California Child Custody
In California, when parents enter into a legal dispute regarding custody of their shared children, the courts prefer to allow the parents an opportunity to arrive at their own agreements concerning the child custody arrangement. Whether the parents are divorcing, legally separating, or were never wed to begin with, the parents are encouraged to prepare a parenting plan together, laying out the agreed-upon terms of their child custody arrangement. If the parents fail to arrive at a mutually acceptable arrangement, the court will be forced to step in and make decisions for them, which may or may not be a desirable outcome.
There are two important things that parents should know about parenting plans as they take steps to work out a child custody arrangement together. Parenting plans are intended to be used by parents to lay out rules concerning the two main issues in child custody arrangements: How time will be shared between the parents and how decision making responsibilities will be shared by parents.
How Time Will Be Shared By Parents
It is important to provide children with regular and consistent exposure to each parent. Ideally, parents will arrive at a parenting plan agreement where the child gets to see each parent as much as possible, while sharing holidays and special events. Parents can prepare a custody or visitation calendar, laying out their agreed-upon child custody schedule. For example, the mother might get most school days, while the father gets the child(ren) on the weekends. Parents generally divvy up holidays, as well. For example, the mother will get the child(ren) on her birthday and on Mother's day, while the father will get the child(ren) on his birthday and Father's day.
How Decision Making Will Be Shared By Parents
Parents can lay out rules for themselves concerning how they will handle important decisions related to the child's health, education, and religious upbringing. For example, if the parents are from different faiths, they might decide that their children will be raised according to one faith, or the other, or both. Regarding the child(ren)'s health, parents might lay out rules related to emergency medical care for the child versus normal medical care. For instance, if one parent cannot be reached in the event of a medical emergency involving the shared child, the other parent is authorized to make medical decisions on his or her own. Whereas non-emergency medical decisions, such as whether the child should get braces or be upgraded from eyeglasses to contact lenses might be a decision made by both parents jointly.
Contact a Ventura Child Support Lawyer
Negley Law is dedicated to helping our clients successfully and satisfactorily resolve their child custody and visitation family law issues. Our team of professionals has over 15 years of experience working with residents of Ventura County to conduct negotiations between parents to arrive at child custody and visitation arrangements that work for both parents. If you need assistance preparing a parenting plan or working with your child(ren)'s other parent to reach some sort of agreement, do not hesitate to contact the experienced child custody lawyers at Negley Law. We offer a free initial consultation. Reach out to us today by calling (805) 464-7315.