June 15, 2023, In Divorce
This includes helping design customized child custody agreements that include effective parenting plans that allow both parents — and their children — to be on the same page going forward.
Here are a few tips to ensure that this is true.
Get the Big Decisions Out of the Way First
The most obvious portion of an effective parenting plan is determining what the kids’ day-to-day schedules will look like going forward. Your child custody agreement will dictate the lion’s share of this, including where the children will live, whether the parents split their time 50/50, or if one parent has visitation rights.
Once you have the skeleton of the custody agreement in place, you must decide where and how the kids will spend:
- School Breaks.
- Special Occasions and Family Celebrations.
- Vacation Time.
These arrangements are unique to each couple, so please be sure to focus on your family’s needs to ensure your kids are getting what they need from their time with both parents.
Who is Going to Get the Kids Where They Need to Go?
Until your kids can drive, someone is going to have to take them to school, extracurricular activities, and other commitments.
This is not as simple as saying, “I will take the kids to soccer this week.”
There must be a clear plan in place, so their transportation needs do not fall through the cracks. Making these decisions will depend on each parent’s home and work obligations but can be outlined by week or month using a shared calendar or scheduling apps.
What Happens When You Are Not Available?
Certainly, it would be ideal for both parents to do everything they are expected to, all the time. Unfortunately, schedules, work, emergencies, and other issues interrupt everyday life all the time. When couples are going through a divorce, or are recently divorced, this is harder to understand and can lead to a rift in the relationship and parenting plan. To avoid any unnecessary disputes, have a plan for when things do not go as planned.
- If you cannot pick the kids up from school on time, who can? A sibling? A parent?
- Who will watch the kids if you are running late from work? Do you have a trusted sitter?
The other parent should be fully aware of who you choose to trust during these emergencies, so there are no surprises later.
Both Parents Must Be Consistent.
Outside of schedules, pick-ups and drop-offs, parents must coordinate how they will establish and enforce house rules. Practicing the same parenting rules in both homes will provide the consistency and structure the children need to lead a healthy life.
That includes decisions regarding:
- Discipline Methods.
- Expectations Regarding School Activities, Sports, and Religion.
- How the Kids Communicate with the Other Parent.
- Screen Time Restrictions.
This is not an exhaustive list of factors, as each family’s dynamic is different. When parents can work together, and have a plan in place, the kids benefit from their commitment to co-parent.
Contact Our Divorce Attorneys in Los Angeles, California Today
If you have questions about divorce, child custody, and what should go into your parenting plan, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles County at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC by calling (310) 552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.