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What are the key parts of a parenting plan?

Children are often caught in the middle of a California divorce. While parents are usually vigilant about adhering to their child's best interests, there can be complications and problems with custody and visitation rights. This is one of the most common sources of disputes in divorces. There are key aspects of parenting plans that must be understood as the case moves forward. When getting a divorce, having legal advice is critical from the start.

With parenting plans, there are two basic portions. These are the time-share portion and the decision-making portion. The time-share will detail when the child will be with each parent. The decision-making agreement will determine how the parents decide on the child's care, education, welfare and other issues. The parents can have a written plan that clearly details how the situation will be handled. This is done to avoid conflicts between the parties.

Once the sides have signed the parenting plan and a judge signs it, it is filed with the court and it will then become a court order. There are important fundamental points to bear in mind. This includes: providing the child with guidance, love and protection; giving them a healthy diet; providing them with proper medical care; and ensuring they receive sufficient rest.

Parents are advised to be flexible when negotiating a parenting plan. It is preferable for the parties to agree on the parenting plan, visitation plans and living arrangements. This will avoid conflict and the feeling that one side was given preferential treatment over the other. However, this is not always possible. When dealing with a divorce when children are involved, having a law firm that understands all areas of a parenting plan can be a key factor to a successful resolution.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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