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Child custody: Drafting a plan for effective co-parenting

Some of the most challenging aspects of a divorce in California undoubtedly involve child-related issues. Most parents want what is best for their children, and maintaining loving parent-child relationships is the primary concern for many. For that reason, joint child custody is the preferred choice for most couples. However, careful planning and consideration are required for efficient co-parenting.

While many aspects of parenting will remain unchanged, establishing a plan that will fit the new family dynamics may not be easy. The reasons for the divorce will not disappear, and contention or antagonism can be detrimental in a co-parenting setup because of the parents' inability to work together. Keeping communication between parents and children positive and looking ahead rather than focusing on the past may benefit all.

An effective parenting plan typically includes clear boundaries for all and eliminates any guesswork. If it addresses the expectations and concerns of both parents and defines exchange procedures, it will form a stable basis for other specifics. The best parenting plans are those that allow flexibility that will accommodate unanticipated circumstances. However, a comprehensive plan will include consistency to maintain stability, and it will require that both parents honor and respect the agreement.

When California parents navigate child custody issues, the focus must remain on the best interests of the children along with the fact that, although the divorce makes them ex-spouses, they will never be ex-parents. Inexperience in such matters may make the prospect of drafting a parenting plan seem daunting, but help is available. An experienced family law attorney can help a parent to ensure his or her concerns are addressed and that the final parenting plan will not jeopardize his or her relationship with the children.

Source:, "What Is Co-Parenting?", Accessed on Jan. 5, 2018

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