No matter how you and your spouse feel toward each other, it’s important to put your children’s best interests first during your divorce. Your spouse may have had shortcomings as a partner. But they might be a loving and fit parent. To keep relations civil after your divorce, it’s crucial you come up with a good parenting plan that reflects your children’s needs.

How parenting plans work

Your parenting plan will outline how you and your spouse will share parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. It will also establish important details that factor into both areas. These details will govern how you two will respond in situations pertaining to your children, including:

  • How you and your spouse will exchange your children
  • How you and your spouse will determine custody for holidays and special occasions
  • How you and your spouse will communicate with each other
  • How you and your spouse will resolve parenting conflicts
  • How you and your spouse will access and share your children’s school and medical record

Changing a parenting plan

You will want to prepare for the possibility that your parenting plan may become unworkable down the road. You or your spouse may experience changes in circumstances that require its revision. Your children will grow older as well, and they will have different schedules and needs than they do now. Or, you or your spouse might decide to move out of California – or the country. So long as you and your spouse can work together, you can draft an agreement to modify your plan. If you cannot, you will need to file forms to request a modification hearing in court.

During your divorce, it’s important to prioritize your children’s best interests when making custody decisions. Creating a solid parenting plan can help you ensure their well-being and security. And it can help them foster strong relationships with both you and your spouse.