For many divorcing parents in California, joint custody is a popular choice for co-parenting arrangements. Increasingly preferred by family courts, most joint custody plans allow children to enjoy roughly equal amounts of time with each parent. While splitting custody can pose emotional and logistical difficulties for all family members, it can also help to support children’s emotional development and adjustment process after a family divorce. There are a number of factors to keep in mind when parents develop a parenting plan to manage the children’s schedules.

There are a number of people’s needs to take into account when making decisions about child custody. Parents’ employment schedules and obligations may point toward certain choices for a logical parenting plan, but it can be just as important to consider the children’s schedules. For example, extracurricular activities, time with friends and hobbies are important to take into account. The parenting plan should put the child’s needs and interests first, and setting aside clear time for these important activities can help kids to adjust to the new plan. Especially for older children, it can also be important to give them a chance to share their thoughts on the plan and be part of the process.

At the same time, it is key for divorcing parents to work together in the co-parenting process. Divorce can be a difficult time, but the parenting plan is not a good place to carry on disputes with an ex-partner. In order for the plan to be successful into the future, it must be acceptable and positive for all members of the family.

Divorce can be a difficult time, especially when parents must negotiate child custody and other issues relating to the children. A family law attorney might represent a divorcing parent throughout this process and work to achieve a fair settlement on key issues.