A parenting plan should protect your children’s interests while enforcing who has custody and visitation with them.
According to the Judicial Branch of California, you have to abide by your parenting plan. However, there may be times when you and your former spouse should consider flexibility.
What if your children refuse to see the other parent?
Children go through an adjustment period following a divorce. Change is difficult and it helps if you have a detailed parenting plan with a consistent schedule. Younger children thrive on routine and do not experience time the same as older children. Your kids need to feel stable at all times. While you both should ensure that you cover all basic needs, you also need to consider unique abilities, experiences and personalities when developing a parenting plan. You do not adjust your children to the plan, but change the plan to the kids.
If your children refuse to see their other parent, you cannot keep them home without violating the parenting plan. You may need to work with your former spouse to develop a solution. Sometimes children may not feel well and you may have to discuss what to do when the child cannot travel between houses.
What if the children have a valid reason?
In the case of domestic abuse, you have to protect your children. In most cases, seeing the other parent is in the kids’ best interests. This is not the case if you suspect abuse. While you cannot restrict visitation based on a hunch, you should go straight to the court with any allegations to protect your children. Only the court can modify the parenting plan in this situation.
Whenever you dispute the parenting plan, you may need court involvement.