Getting married and starting a family is one of the highlights of your life. It can be incredibly rewarding to fill one’s home with love and laughter as relationships between parents and children strengthen and expand. For many in the Bay Area, minor hiccups in the happiness and stability of their family life may surface from time to time without causing major problems for the members of the households. However, for others disputes and conflict may drive irreparable breaks between spouses and lead once happily married partners to divorce.

When two people choose to divorce, the legal bond between them is severed. After divorce, though, you remain the parents of your children for life. Parents remain responsible for their kids. How those rights and responsibilities are allocated between the parents is represented in their child custody or parenting plan. This plan typically deals with how major decisions will be made, and who will be responsible to care for a child at particular times.  This post will briefly touch on some of the considerations that must be made to reach an effective plan is focused on the needs of the child. 

When parents are unable to agree on parenting matters, the law directs judges to focus on best interests of the child. It is important to note that since children’s needs and interests vary greatly this consideration is highly subjective. While one custodial arrangement may serve one child it may be completely inappropriate for another and therefore child custody plans should be specifically tailored to the kids that they serve.

Additionally, courts reviewing child custody plans may evaluate the age and emotional and physical health of the children in question. They will inquire into any histories of abuse within families and will determine if children have strong ties to their schools and communities before accepting plans that may uproot those youths from their normal lives.

Just as most parents wish to provide the best possible outcome for their kids during their divorces, courts also want to approve parenting plans that put the needs of the children at the forefront. It can be challenging to create a divorce-related parenting plan and using the services of family law attorneys and other specialists can be very helpful in reaching the best plan for your children.