California parents who are struggling with the emotional aspects of a divorce may particularly worry about its impact on their children. One of the best ways to make the transition less painful for children is by creating a cooperative relationship with the other parent, and a solid parenting plan is a key to this.
A good parenting plan cannot heal the pain of divorce, but it can go a long way toward ensuring that co-parenting is possible while the children are minors. Later, having laid the groundwork for that cooperation, as the children grow up and have their own families, parents may find that those years are easier as well.
One part of a parenting plan discusses who gets legal and physical custody. The former deals with who makes major decisions about the child's life and the latter with who the child lives with.
The parenting plan can create a method for resolving immediate conflict in the wake of the divorce. As it is written, parents can discuss various issues and how they might be solved. A parenting plan might even include provisions for anticipated changes in circumstances that can help prevent another trip back to court. It also lets children and school officials know that parents are serious about and committed to working together.
Lawyers may be able to assist parents in developing a parenting plan. It might be possible to put the plan together without turning to litigation, and some studies have shown that lower-conflict divorces are better for children. However, if it is necessary to go to court, parents should keep in mind that the judge attempts to determine a child's best interests and make decisions based on that.