Disclaimer: This blog does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
A parenting plan is an important document you must have before you can get a divorce in California when there are kids involved. Once your divorce is final, you’ll use this plan to address any disagreements that arise about things such as child custody and visitation. Since this agreement involves your children, it’s possible you and your spouse may disagree on certain decisions. When they work with experienced divorce mediators, San Diego couples can make these decisions together in a way that benefits the whole family. These five tips can make it easier to work through the process of developing a parenting plan during divorce.
1. Start with the Right Mindset
As a parent, one of your worst fears may be losing touch with your kids. You may also worry about how much you’ll need to pay in child support or if you’ll be able to keep your kids living with you. Anxiety is normal during a divorce, but it’s also important to remember your spouse has similar feelings. The goal of divorce mediation is to help both parties feel happy with the final agreement. Going in with an open mindset sets the right tone for the rest of the process.
2. Consider Your Child’s Current Needs
It helps to begin by looking at the basic facts about your family’s life. For instance, your child’s school schedule can be used to determine which parent will be responsible for picking the child up and dropping him or her off each day. If your child plays sports or participates in other scheduled activities, you’ll also want to take that into consideration when you plan out things such as weekend visitation. Since a parenting plan is essentially designed to make sure the child thrives after the divorce, looking at his or her needs first ensures that happens.
3. Try to Be Reasonable
You love your children, so you want to spend as much time as possible with them. However, you now need to split your children’s time between two homes. While it may upset you to hear your spouse ask for more time, it may make sense once you look at the current schedule. You may also need to compromise on certain parts of the agreement to get what you want on others. This is just a normal part of the negotiation process, and staying reasonable keeps things from getting out of hand.
4. Work with a Professional Mediator
During a divorce, emotions often run raw, and you need a neutral party to help you work through common issues. Professional mediators are experienced with helping couples work out their parenting plans, and they often come up with creative solutions that satisfy the needs of the whole family.
5. Keep the Future in Mind
A well-written parenting plan should include enough detail that there’s no question what’s supposed to happen with the main components. However, it should also be flexible enough that you and your ex-spouse can work together to resolve future issues. For instance, one of you may need to travel for a business trip when it’s your weekend to see your child. You can include things such as the ability to switch weekends when necessary, provided everyone is in agreement.
San Diego Divorce Options puts a high premium on a peaceful, child-centered divorce. We use developmental psychology, attachment theory, psychology of grieving, and family systems psychology to help you and your children through the difficult emotional transition. Relying on our expertise and experience in divorce mediation, San Diego couples can rest assured their divorces will be handled with care and privacy. We emphasize an efficient process that leaves you free to get on with your life and care for your kids and yourself, both during and after your divorce. Please contact us at (858) 281-2628 for a discreet and confidential consultation to see how we can help with your divorce mediation.