For many divorcing couples, one of the big things a divorce involves is negotiating a parenting plan. Such plans can set out what the custody arrangement will be regarding a divorcing couple’s children moving forward.

When people think of what is addressed in parenting plans, their minds may go straight to who the kids will live with and who gets time with the kids when. This is called physical custody. While this is a very important aspect of child custody, it is crucial to note that it is not the only one, and thus not the only thing parenting plans should typically address.

The second main aspect of child custody is legal custody. This type of custody regards who has the authority to make key decisions regarding a child. This includes decisions about things like daycare, religion, education, medical care and activities.

How such decision-making authority is distributed between divorced parents has very big impacts within a family. Now, as with physical custody, legal custody terms can be tailored a wide range of ways in a parenting plan. Coming up with a legal custody arrangement well-tailored to the circumstances of their family can be very important for divorcing parents.

So, it is critical for California parents to not forget about the issue of legal custody when negotiating a parenting plan. Divorce lawyers can help parents come up with strategies for addressing key custody issues, including legal custody, in parenting plan negotiations. Such attorneys can also help with making sure nothing important is overlooked in the preparations for such negotiations.