How planning can help in California family legal issues
In Orange County, as well as anywhere throughout the country, people engage in planning nearly every aspect of their life, such as; personal goals, a lively party, building a new home and even mundane daily routines. As divorce rates continue to increase within the state, and in the country, creating a plan is a must for couples having marital disputes. Marital disputes like child support, custody, spousal support and property division are all under the umbrella of family law. Family law addresses issues that a couple may face during divorce proceedings.
In a recent story, one newly separated woman shared her experience in regards to having a plan with her estranged spouse in the case of an emergency.
The woman recalled that when she was a child, her family had a plan in case something bad happened in or to their house. In fact, as an adult, the woman formulated a plan with her former husband after the 9/11 incident.
Since that time, the couple has had children and their marriage is in the process of ending. However, the two have yet to come up with a new plan in case of an emergency now that they live separately. This realization came to a head when the woman was faced with being apart from her children during the recent storm on the east coast, Hurricane Sandy.
The woman is a resident of New York. During the time when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, she was in Los Angeles attending to business matters. The children were left in the custody of their father. Yet, without a plan, the woman was left dwelling on worst-case scenarios.
Needless to say, it is difficult enough for any parent to learn to live apart from their children, while they are with their other parent — let alone being separated during an emergency.
Still, how can this scenario help other couples who are learning to co-parent following a separation or divorce?
Creating a parenting plan can help soon-to-be ex’s work together to come up with plans for various scenarios. Granted, not every scenario is an emergency, but a parenting plan opens up talking points for parents on several key issues. For example, when is the “right” age for a child to start dating or get his or her ears pierced? Or, is there a right age? What about extra-curricular activities? Homework? Learning how to drive a car? Many couples are able to meet these milestones and challenges together while they are married. However, once a couple has parted ways, the opportunities to discuss these issues can decrease.
A parenting plan is an excellent way for couples to discuss the “what if” scenarios with their child’s other parent. It is a great tool used by many parents today, in order to plan for not just emergencies but also important events in their child’s life. Sitting down and discussing these concerns with an attorney can be the first step during a divorce. Each party can walk away from their marriage knowing that if life, or Mother Nature, doesn’t go as planned that they worked together as parents to make sure that their children are safe.
Source: Huffintonpost.com, “Divorce diaries: Why we need a plan b,” Denise Albert, Nov. 6, 2012