Los Angeles Divorce Attorney
Child Custody and Divorce Lawyer in Los Angeles


Step up Plans

A frequently encountered problem is that a plan you develop now may not necessarily be appropriate in
the future. For example, a plan for young children which permits the non-custodial parent limited
overnights may not be appropriate when the children are older. A court may not be willing to change the
status quo simply because the children have grown up and are better able to transition between
households. One way of dealing with this is to create a “step-up plan” that provides increased periods
of custody to the non-custodial parent when the children reach a certain age.

Step-up plans are particularly useful in reaching settlements where there are concerns about the
parenting abilities of the non-custodial parent or the psychological harm that moving between two
households will have on a child. Step up plans foster a sense of trust, responsibility and reliability as the
non-custodial parent and the children familiarize themselves with the new routines and new households.

Step up plans are also useful to encourage parental responsibility where there are substance abuse
problems or visitation has to be monitored because a parent has endangered the child. These step up
plans should be drafted to allow the non-custodial parent increased time when they have met specific
goals e.g. they have remained clean and sober for six months.



Contact a Los Angeles Divorce Attorney at Law Offices of Warren R. Shiell to discuss your
custody issues.
Please call to make an appointment at 310.247.9913.



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