26 Nov Uncontested Divorce: If You’ve Got Kids, You Need a Parenting Plan
At California Document Preparers, we help clients who are seeking uncontested divorces. If there are children involved, that divorce must include a parenting plan. This can take many forms, but this is an example of how a Bay Area family structured a parenting plan that fits their situation.
This couple, who came in to our Oakland office, had been postponing divorce, thinking they’d try to make their marriage work because of their two kids. Despite their efforts, it wasn’t working, and they knew their fighting and the constant tension and conflict were creating an unhealthy environment for their children. The husband was offered a job in Arizona, and this was the motivation they needed to finally seek a divorce.
Since both parents had loving relationships with their children and were very involved in their many activities, they agreed that Joint Legal Custody and Joint Physical Custody were the appropriate parenting plans for their family.
Joint Legal Custody: both parents are responsible for children’s welfare
By sharing legal custody, these parents together are responsible for the major decisions about their children’s health, education and welfare—things like insurance, medical care, whether or not they go to private or public schools, if they attend a church, mosque or synagogue and the kinds of after-school activities in which they participate.
Joint Physical Custody: each parent has significant periods of physical custody
With Joint Physical Custody, each parent has significant periods of physical custody, arranged so that the children have frequent, ongoing contact with both parents. It is up to the parents to determine what the division of time between the two homes will be. It doesn’t need to be a 50/50 split; it’s up to the family to come up with an equitable arrangement.
Children don’t understand that their parents don’t want to be married—at least to each other
Divorce is hard on children, and these parents agreed that disrupting their children’s routines as little as possible would be in their best interest. As part of their parenting plan, they agreed that the children would continue to live in the Bay Area with their mother and visit their father during school vacations and for two months in the summer.
The best plans are structured rather than being left to chance
These parents agreed that they would sit down at the beginning of each calendar year and map out a visitation schedule for their children. They would also detail how their kids would get to the airport and who would pay the transportation fees. By agreeing to Joint Legal Custody and Joint Physical Custody, these parents may be divorcing, but they are putting in place a parenting plan to fully share the responsibilities of parenting.
California Document Preparers helps our clients understand the nuances of parenting plans that are part of uncontested divorce. Contact us at one of our three Bay Area locations for more information.