California residents may have heard that parenting plans are changing based upon recent new laws. Until recent years parenting plans often included one parent receiving primary custody, while the other receives partial parenting time. Many states including California have passed recent laws promoting a more evenly shared child custody and parenting plans. This is legally based in the principle of protecting the “best interests of the children.”
Lawmakers and family law advocates of new laws as well as multiple studies have documented shared parenting is the best situation for minor children who are affected by divorce. This is because children will have equal quality time with both parents. As a result, co-parents will need to work together to come to agreements on education, religious upbringing and other issues.
The Family Court carefully observes all communications including texts, e-mails, voicemails and social media posts between the parties. A parent who wishes to protect their own interests in child custody and parenting time matters should be constantly vigilant about the tone and substance of all communications with their former spouse. Working together to design a child custody and parenting plan which reflects the existing rhythms of each child’s life before the divorce should be the primary goal.
Of course, cases with a history of abuse, neglect or other dangerous issues would be exempted from shared parenting laws. It is hoped that shared parenting plans would alleviate the strain in custody disputes and much of the legal wrangling surrounding which parent is to have primary custodial rights.
Parenting plans are changing based upon recent new laws. Parenting plans are typically drafted by parents who are willing to work together on an agreement that is beneficial and satisfactory to all parties. Negotiation and/or Mediation are timely and cost-effective tools to help resolve disputes and areas of principled disagreement.
Occasionally, when irreconcilable disputes arise the Family Court will impose a custody and parenting time arrangement. Either way, it is best to have assistance when navigating the complicated system of negotiations, mediation and or litigation.