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What should you include in a parenting plan?

If you and your spouse have children when you decide to get a divorce, one of the most important areas of negotiation will probably revolve around custody and visitation. In California, the state refers to visitation and custody arrangements as parenting plans. 

Ideally, you and your spouse will work together to create a parenting plan that is fair for both of you and in the best interests of your children. When you both agree to and sign this plan, a judge may then sign off to make it an official order. 

Essential considerations in a parenting plan 

The website of the California Judicial Branch provides information on parenting plans to help you create an arrangement that benefits your children and allows both you and your ex-spouse to be active in your children’s lives. According to the website, the top considerations to think about when making a plan should center on your children. A parenting plan should take into account your children’s ages, life experiences, school schedules and activities. The goal is to create a plan that helps your children feel secure and loved, and one that is easy for them to predict and follow on a calendar. 

Details to include in a parenting plan 

Custody is one of the most important aspects that a parenting plan must deal with. California recognizes legal and physical custody. Your parenting plan must cover physical custody arrangements including where your children will live, where they will spend weekends and holidays and who will transport them to different activities. Legal custody describes which parent has the responsibility to make essential decisions regarding medical treatment, religious activities, educational institutions and emergency care. 



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