What should you be considering when working to develop parenting plans for children older than 5? Child custody and parenting plans present some of the most consistently difficult challenges for those seeking to divorce in Carlsbad and North County. The experienced attorneys at Burke & Domercq, APC provide sound advice and counsel based upon decades of representation before North County family law courts.
Children above the age of 5 are usually in school and have more awareness regarding a divorce than you may realize. California family law places “the best interests of a child” as the ideal in any parenting plan. It is important to begin these discussions with present rhythms of family life in mind. The court wishes to preserve as much as possible the existing life and schedule of each child in order to help to make the transition in divorce less disruptive.
If both parents wish to preserve parenting time, each should live within the existing school district whenever possible. A parenting plan should contain clearly established schedules which maintain existing patterns for each child as much as possible. Careful consideration must be given to “transitions” not only in terms of the schedule, but the place and time. Transitions can be an emotional experience for children and making this transition as easy as possible provides important support to each child.
Parenting plans for children older than 5 should be consistent and include allocation of holidays and vacations. Your child’s existing schedule and well being should be uppermost in your mind as you approach this complex process. Consider the distribution of clothing, toys, school supplies and other aspects of how a child’s life will continue at each separate location. If your child has special needs or requires medication it will be important to work with healthcare professionals to ensure proper arrangements.
When couples struggle to find resolution to questions relating to child custody and the parenting plan mediation is an excellent alternative to help the parties to resolve dispute and reach an agreement in a timely and cost-efficient manner.
It is also important to discuss school events (such as parent-teacher conferences, concerts, etc.) as well as extracurricular activities and how each or both will attend. This support is important to any child and setting aside personal differences to actively attend important events provides a sense of continuity and eases the transition of a divorce.
If you are concerned about parenting plans for children older than 5 we invite you to review the recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.