How Can Parenting Be Handled After A Divorce

How Can Parenting Be Handled After A Divorce

How Can Parenting Be Handled After A Divorce

Making arrangements for parenting after a divorce is finalized is a significant decision. The effects will determine much of the parents’ lives moving forward, and of course, it will have a tremendous impact on the child. It’s important that a parenting plan for handling parenting be thorough and consider a wide range of factors and concerns. A lawyer who’s dealt with similar situations before can help make sure that parents are addressing sometimes forgotten issues and concerns. The lawyer can also help ensure that the plan put together is something that a judge will recognize as being in a child’s interest.

Sole Custody

If just one parent is awarded both sole physical custody and legal custody, that can make the question of plans for parenting rather simple. That parent is simply responsible for parenting the children their way. The other parent will have no say. This may not mean the other parent is not involved with the child or involved in decision-making. It just means that the custodial parent is the one with the final decision.


For parents who can at least maintain a moderate level of agreeableness and cooperation with each other, co-parenting can be a good option. This is where the two parents try to take a collaborative approach to work together to parent the child, despite not being married. Major decisions will be made together. Rules for how the kids will be raised can be more consistent across households. The goal of co-parenting is to create a better sense of consistency and minimize the disruption the child feels as a result of the divorce. However, co-parenting does require that the parents be willing to communicate with each other regularly without there being too much tension.

Parallel Parenting

Parallel parenting is an option for high-conflict divorces. The conflict cannot be good for the development of the children. So, the goal of parallel parenting is to maintain both parents’ involvement in raising the child while minimizing the potential conflict that the child is exposed to. A significant part of parallel parenting is attempting to minimize the communication between parents, which may even be limited to an app designed for these kinds of communication. Another major element to making parallel parenting work is having a very thorough parenting plan. The more exhaustive the parenting plan, the less communication is necessary between the parents. Generally, outside of what is in the parenting plan, decision-making will fall to whatever parent has custodial charge of the children at that time, except in the case of emergencies. This will minimize the need for contact between the two parents. When developing a parallel parenting plan, negotiations can be difficult because some of the same issues causing the need for the parallel parenting arrangement can hinder negotiating the plan. So, it’s important to work with a lawyer you trust to negotiate on your behalf.

How Can Parenting Be Handled After A Divorce


Q: What Is a Parenting Plan?

A: A parenting plan is a document that describes how different parenting issues will be handled after the divorce is finalized. This document is important when parents want to submit their own negotiated custody agreement to the court. The judge must act in the child’s interests, but if the parenting plan appears to describe a dynamic that does serve the child’s welfare, that can assist in persuading a judge to rule in favor of the parent’s plan. The plan should include how time with the parents will be arranged, how major parenting decisions will be made, and the process for communication between parents.

Q: How Is Custody Decided in California?

A: The backbone of a California custody decision is the child’s welfare. The court will always make the decision that it believes to be in the child’s interest. They will consider a variety of factors, including each parent’s ability to be present for the child, how much a custody arrangement will disrupt a child’s life, and even the child’s wishes. The court will award either sole custody, where one parent has custodial rights, or joint custody, where custodial rights are shared, in two categories of custody. Physical custody will address where the child lives and how time with the parents is divided. Legal custody addresses how parents will manage the important decision-making regarding the child’s upbringing.

Q: What Is the Difference Between Co-Parenting and Parallel Parenting?

A: While there are other parenting arrangements, co-parenting and parallel parenting are nearly polar opposites when it comes to handling parenting after a divorce. Co-parenting involves the parents attempting to parent in a collaborative way that involves regular communication about the kids and joint decision-making about the major issues involved in raising the child. Parallel parenting, on the other hand, tries to minimize contact between the parents as much as possible. A parallel parenting plan will spell out as much as possible regarding how parenting will be handled, time being split up, and a means for limited communication between parents. Parents will be required to follow the plan and otherwise hold all decision-making for the child when they are under the parent’s custodial care.

Q: Can Our Parenting Arrangements be Changed?

A: Parenting arrangements can be altered, although it’s important to remember they will only be allowed if the changes somehow are better for the child’s welfare. There also must be a good reason for changing those arrangements. Talking with a child custody lawyer can help you understand if there is good cause to alter your parenting arrangements.

Get Help Planning Parenting Arrangements

A family law attorney can be a helpful asset when planning parenting arrangements through a divorce process. Bickford Blado & Botros has experience in these situations and can recognize some of the things that a parenting arrangement should address that sometimes parents might not think of needing in their plan. We also have experience understanding what the court will want to see out of a parenting arrangement, and we can help make sure you are prepared for those things. We can also negotiate a parenting agreement on your behalf. Contact us today if you are seeking help working out a parenting arrangement.



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