March 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Parenting plans for California children's needs
Article provided by Bohm Matsen, LLP
Visit us at http://www.bfka-law.com
Knowing that children are better off with the love and attention of both parents, divorced California parents still want to be a part of their children's lives. Yet, coming to an agreement on how to achieve both parents' participation in their children's care can be challenging.
Creating a parenting plan
In the California court system, divorcing parents draw up a custody and visitation agreement--popularly called a parenting plan--that specifies a schedule for the amount of time each parent will spend with the children and a system for making decisions about the children's welfare.
A written plan, the courts hope, will reduce conflict and make life more secure and predictable for children. Fighting between parents is very stressful for children, yet children usually fare better with both parents involved in their lives.
In writing a parenting plan, parents will want to keep these goals, among others, in mind:
-providing love and security for children
-giving each child regular time with each parent
-managing holidays and vacations as well as regular daily routines
-allowing for overnight stays, homework time and children's activities
-keeping children on a healthy sleep and meal schedule
The plan should be detailed enough that it is easy to decide what to do when, but must also allow for flexibility when unplanned circumstances arise.
Unless there is good reason for restrictions, such as abuse, the plan should allow both parents phone contact with the children and access to children's school and medical records. Parents should be sure to provide contact information to the other parent in order to discuss parenting concerns and in case of emergencies.
A parenting plan becomes an enforceable legal document when both parents and the judge have signed it, and it is filed with the court.
Caring for the children
The children's ages when the parenting plan is created will dictate many of the plan's considerations. Babies and toddlers will have different needs than elementary school-aged children and teens. Plans may need to be adjusted over time.
The website for the California courts provides resource material aimed at helping parents understand the needs of children at all ages. Children under five, experts explain, especially need warm, comforting adults around them. Adults who care for these children should understand the children's feelings and listen to them.
If parents can find a way to work together after a divorce, children will benefit. Within the framework of the parenting plan, parents can confer from time to time about the children's progress and discuss concerns.
A seasoned California family law attorney will be able to help parents develop a parenting plan that meets the needs of their children and is workable for the adults. When parents have difficulty communicating, an attorney's skilled advocacy may be especially useful. The California court system has the best interests of the child always in mind, and an attorney's experience with the system will serve parents and children well.---
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