Divorce alone can be challenging, but going through a divorce with kids can be even harder. For parents trying to negotiate the terms of a divorce, it’s important to create a parenting plan. Plans should be well thought out and include different terms of separation. This way, neither parent is blindsided by the other’s attempt to obtain certain rights when the divorce becomes finalized.
Creating a Detailed Parenting Plan
Let’s explore all aspects that should be included in a parenting plan. Whether it’s the custody agreement, covering finances, or insurance plans, these variables must be considered in your plan. We’ll also take a look at the benefit of having an attorney present when creating a parenting plan.
It should be noted that the information in each parenting plan could differ depending on the state in which the divorce is taking place. The following parenting plan information is for divorces that take place in the state of California.
Physical and Legal Custody
Not only will your parenting plan need to contain physical custody terms, it will also need to include legal custody terms. Establishing legal custody determines which parent has the ultimate authority when it comes to making decisions that directly affect the child. For example, where the child attends school, what activities they participate in, etc.
When establishing physical custody, information should be included that defines which parent will take care of and house the child. Physical custody can also be used to establish where the child will spend most of their time. In some physical custody plans, the child will live primarily with one parent while the other parent sees and takes care of the child once or twice a month.
Both physical and legal custody can be established in sole or joint terms. In sole custody, one parent holds the rights; in joint custody, both parents share the rights.
Most parenting plans include information about which parent will take over financial obligations. In most instances, it is common courtesy for each parent to cover normal expenses while the child is in their possession. For larger payments like school tuition, it’s important to note whether one parent provides all of the money or each parent contributes half.
Though child support can be a solution for a single parent housing a child, there are other ways to divide up financial obligations where a monthly payment is not required. This could include different types of six-month or annual agreements. These types of accords are usually popular in households where both parents hold a similar annual salary. No matter what, having each parent’s financial obligations on your parenting plan can be very useful when it comes to finalizing a divorce in court.
Being that some households have insurance plans where all family members fall under the same policy, it’s important to figure out what a child’s medical coverage will look like after a divorce. In some cases, the parent whose name is at the top of the policy will keep the kids on their medical coverage. This means that the other parent will have to find their own insurance coverage, but not have to worry about the child being covered. Either way, including the insurance plans and how a child will be covered is very productive to a strategic parenting plan.
Legal Assistance for Parenting Plans
Divorce is a challenging hurdle to cross. Creating an effective parenting plan can aid any family when it comes to finalizing a divorce. The best way to ensure your parenting plan contains the right information is to hire legal assistance. At Alternative Divorce Solutions, our team offers mediation services geared toward the best interests of our clients and their children.
To learn more about the type of information that should be included in a parenting plan, contact our team of legal professionals: (949) 558-2624.