When California parents decide to get a divorce, it can be very difficult for their children who are still in school. However, coming up with a parenting plan that works for both parents and their children can be a way to make the transition smooth, especially when it comes to the start of the school year.
Traditionally, parenting plans determined where the children would primarily live during the school year and when the other parent would have scheduled time with their children. A shared parenting plan is a bit different in that the parents have equal time with the kids but the schedule is flexible. In order for this to work, the parents have to take into consideration how far they both live from the children's school and whether or not the parents themselves live near each other. If a shared parenting plan is feasible, both parents have the opportunity to have a strong relationship with their children.
In general, it is preferred if parents can create a parenting plan without court interference. However, there are cases where the two parties cannot reach an agreement. First, the former couple will likely go through mediation. If that does not work, the court will attempt to determine what is in the children's best interests.
By creating a parenting plan that is agreed on by both parents, child custody disputes can be avoided. In some cases, this can be difficult to accomplish. Parents may live too far apart to share custody or parents may not agree to be flexible. In these cases, a family law attorney may help create a plan that allows the children to maintain strong relationships with both parents. If no agreement is reached, the attorney may argue why it is in the children's best interest to primarily live with one parent over the other.