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Back-to-school season for divorced parents

As California children head back to school in the fall, their schedules quickly fill up with classes, after school activities and sporting events. For divorced parents with shared custody, maintaining a child's hectic schedule during the school year can be challenging. This is why agreeing on a detailed parenting plan is so important for divorced parents.

When two parents go through a divorce, they can work out a parenting plan together or ask the court to reach a decision on how time with the child should be divided. Although it's usually easier and cheaper for both parties to agree on a parenting plan outside of court, this is not always possible. If the court must make the decision, both parents will be asked to submit a parenting plan for the judge's consideration.

No matter how time is divided in a shared-custody parenting plan, the plan must include arrangements for transportation and communication. Some important considerations will be how far each parent's house is from the child's school and whether each house is on the child's school bus line. In some cases, it may make sense for each parent to keep a set of clothes, school supplies and schoolbooks at their house in order to make transitions easier.

Many child custody issues can be addressed in a parenting plan, and a detailed plan may prevent future disputes between parents. For example, one parent may want to include special agreements about how vacation time should be divided over the course of the year. A family law attorney can provide guidance on these issues to a parent who is drawing one up.

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