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One of the toughest parts of going through divorce in California is figuring out how best to handle the kids one shares with a soon-to-be ex. Both parents may be focused on satisfying their own wishes while also concentrating on the children's needs. In the end, they might agree to share joint legal custody with shared parenting time, with the help of legal guidance. 

When putting together a new parenting plan during divorce, there are certain timing-related factors that must be considered. For instance, if a child is of preschool age or younger, it is best to avoid having him or her spend extended periods of time with the spouse who is not the primary caregiver. In rare scenarios, both of the parents previously served as the primary caregiver before the divorce, with the child being equally bonded to them. However, in most situations, there was one primary caregiver; it is advised that the child keep establishing bonds with this individual until he or she reaches school age and can handle longer visits with the other spouse. 

The frequency of travel is another important factor to consider during a divorce involving kids. Having the kids pack up and travel to the other spouse's home each weekend may take a toll on them, both physically and emotionally. This may also impact the children's extracurricular activities and social lives. Thus, it is best to create a parenting plan that minimizes travel for the kids.

Divorce is complex in California, and when two divorcing individuals have children, the process can be even more complicated. This is because the decisions made during a divorce proceeding can have long-term repercussions on the entire family. Appropriate legal guidance may help the two parties to pursue joint legal custody with shared parenting time as part of their parenting agreement as they seek to put the best interests of the children first.

Source: freep.com, "Helping kids cope with post-divorce move", Helena Oliviero, July 8, 2015 

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