Kathleen J. Smith, Attorney at Law

Tips for creating a successful parenting agreement

Child custody and parenting time are two of the most contentious elements of a divorce with kids. Typically, both parents want what is best for the children. However, they sometimes have different ideas about how to achieve their goals. Although the intentions of both parents are good, these disagreements can evolve into long-lasting and stressful conflicts. If the parents cannot create a mutually agreeable parenting plan, a California family court will decide the matter.

It's best for parents to resolve these issues together, but that feels easier said than done for many couples. Working with an experienced family law attorney can provide a great amount of help for those concerned about custody and parenting time. You can also help yourself address these issues by following these parenting plan tips:

  • If at all possible, collaborate with your co-parent when drafting a parenting and custody schedule.
  • Keep your focus on your children's needs in the present as well as in the long-term.
  • Remember to factor in holidays and other important events when creating a custody agreement.
  • Leave room in your parenting plan for you and your co-parent to address big decisions (education, discipline, etc.) involving the kids.
  • Have an attorney review your parenting plan to ensure the document is error-free and written in clear terms.

Divorce is hard. and letting go of your children even for short periods is also difficult during such a challenging time. However, with the right approach and the right mindset, it is possible to address child custody and parenting time in a way that benefits the entire family.

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