California parents of minor children must develop a custody or visitation arrangement as part of a divorce. Long-term thinking is essential when negotiating this agreement. Careful consideration of each parent's work schedule and the children's school and extracurricular activities could help a person avoid agreeing to a schedule that proves unworkable and results in going back to court to make adjustments.
The needs and best interests of the child should guide the parents' choices. Courts want to see co-parenting proposals that present schedules that all parties can realistically live with. Although parents are often not on good terms when building these plans, reasonable compromises could benefit both parents because everyone will be living according to the terms of the plan for many years.
Parents must take into account the current circumstances of their children as well as how their needs might develop over the years. Building flexibility into a plan could prevent disputes in the future if the visitation schedule needs to be adjusted. For example, one or both parents might eventually start dating or even remarry, which could affect child custody scheduling.
An attorney could provide insights to a parent who needs to negotiate child custody. The parent could become informed about how a court might determine the best interests of a child . When writing a co-parenting plan, an attorney could recommend how to create terms that address important issues like schooling, religious instruction, parental location or who gets the children for which holidays. Once an agreement has been reached, an attorney could write the document and submit it to the court for its approval.