During a divorce in California, one of the difficult tasks for parents may be trying to reconstruct a schedule and list of expenses for their children. This is necessary in order to determine child support, but under the stress of divorce, parents may struggle to remember all the facts they need for this process. A calendar from the past year can help.

In addition to helping prod a parent’s memory regarding child-related expenses, the calendar can also provide useful information for determining parenting time and spousal support. Child and spousal support payments are supposed to help a child and an ex-spouse maintain a lifestyle similar to the one before the divorce. A calendar can help parents remember out-of-town trips for children who play sports and the costs associated with them, gifts purchased for birthday parties children attended, any appointments with doctors and therapists, and other expenses. It can also confirm which parent spent the most time with the children.

An important factor in calculating spousal support is the lifestyle during the marriage. The calendar can help with this as well. It may note outings that are more easily forgotten than major vacations, such as restaurant meals.

Either the parents or a judge must decide whether the parents will share physical and legal custody, one will have sole legal and physical custody, or they will share one and not the other. It is not unusual for parents to share legal custody but not physical custody. Legal custody allows them to make decisions about the child’s health care, religious upbringing and education. Physical custody determines where the child lives most of the time. Even if custody is not shared, parents can create a visitation plan that gives the other parent a significant amount of time with the child.