During a divorce, California parents must create a custody schedule. If they cannot agree on a schedule, they might have to go to court. However, the disadvantage is that a parent might end up with even less time than was originally offered by the other parent.
The Reason Behind A Custody Schedule
When creating a schedule, it is important for parents to focus on its purpose. A child custody schedule exists to ensure that children are able to build relationships with both parents. This means that parents may be inconvenienced. However, the child’s schedule, including extracurricular activities, should be taken into account. If the child can keep the same babysitter or child care provider, this can help maintain consistency in the child’s life. Older children might want their preferences considered. There may need to be additional accommodations for children with special needs.
Keep the Agreement Centered Around the Child’s Needs
There are also things parent should avoid. In particular, they should not consider the child custody schedule as a way of punishing the other parent. They should also resist the urge to keep score of any sacrifices they feel they have made. It can be tempting to think that the other parent is unfit because of different parenting styles, but this is generally not harmful to the child. The schedule should be based on the current situation and not future plans, such as a parent’s intention to move nearby.
While child custody negotiations can be one of the most challenging parts of a divorce, focusing on the best interests of the child can be one way for parents to reach an agreement. Attorneys may be able to help in these negotiations. There are a few situations in which litigation might be necessary. For example, if a parent is concerned about the child’s safety with the other parent, that parent might want to present evidence in court that the parent has been abusive or neglectful.