We are often asked what details should be included in a San Diego parenting plan and how detailed the plan needs to be. A parenting plan is an important part of any San Diego divorce which involves children. The parenting plan should be as detailed as possible and should reflect considerations for any potential challenges which might arise between the co-parents and the child(ren).
Normally, a well-crafted parenting plan addresses every aspect of the child’s life and how the co-parents intend to work together to raise the child during and after the divorce. The document should cover every aspect of a child’s life including the parenting time allotted to each party, precisely how and when transitions between households will occur, all aspects of transportation to school, daycare and extra-curricular activities as well as how important dates such as birthdays, holidays and vacations will be shared between each co-parent.
It is important to understand the difference between physical custody and legal custody. Both of these details should be included in a San Diego parenting plan. Physical custody is the right to have the child dwell in your household and the right to pick them up from school or have them with you. Legal custody is the right to make all decisions regarding the health, welfare, education, religious practice and other important aspects of a child’s life.
The parenting plan should also anticipate issues such as child’s reluctance to transition between homes, illness of either the child or one of the co-parents, as well as details regarding specific possessions, clothing or other items which will be maintained by either or both households.
The guiding legal principle in all matters involving children is “the best interest of the child.” It is important to consider the existing rhythms and patterns in the lives of the child(ren) and to continue these as much as possible in the parenting plan. Once an agreement has been reached between the parties it must be reviewed by the Judge in your case. The Judge can either approve it, make changes or seek the input of an outside expert to establish what is genuinely in the child’s best interest.
What details should be included in a San Diego parenting plan? As many as possible to ensure a clear understanding between all parties and to reduce areas which might lead to a dispute down the road.