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Constructing an acceptable California parenting plan

On Behalf of | Nov 1, 2017 | Blog, Firm News

A proper parenting plan is a smart way to maintain control over the affairs of your children during a divorce. In fact, the courts favor parents hashing out the details of child custody and care amongst themselves.

However, parents must write the parenting plan properly in order for the courts to accept it. Check out these tips for constructing an acceptable California parenting plan.

Know the guidelines

Parenting plans become legally binding agreements, and as such, the government does require that they follow set guidelines. It is important that parents understand and follow these stipulations to avoid the courts making the changes later, or not accepting the plan at all. The Superior Court of California provides a detailed guide for developing a parenting plan. It may be beneficial to review the document and structure the parenting plan accordingly.

Use an outline

A proper parenting plan will have several different sections to cover various parenting aspects. Altogether, the sections should cover children’s basic needs, including:

  • Protection and guidance
  • Love
  • Health and medical care

The outline can help to ensure that your plan covers all necessary aspects. Also, it makes for easy reference, so those reading it may access certain aspects of the agreement easily.


Keeping the wording simple and sentences short will help to avoid confusion and future conflict. Also, parties should avoid inserting unnecessary legalese. However, they should use certain terms, such as visitation, legal custody and physical custody. These are common terms that the courts would expect most parents to understand, so they help to bring clarity. Keeping the plan clear and concise usually enhances the chances of a court accepting a plan.

These are just a few basic tips for a successful parenting plan. For those individuals considering a plan, it is important to research the process and parts of the document. It may also be helpful to secure the assistance of a knowledgeable professional.