When parents in California decide to separate, their primary concern may be the children. Some parents may worry that a divorce could be emotionally damaging. However, experts advise that when parents pay attention to their children's emotional needs, they can help ease the transition.
During a divorce, it can seem like everything is changing. Children split time between two homes instead of one, and they rarely see their parents together. In this context, it can be important to shore up a child's sense of stability by developing joint guidelines around key parenting issues. If both parents can put aside their differences to come to an agreement about rules, chores and academic goals, their children will have the same set of expectations in both parents' homes. It's important for even divorced parents to back each other up on most issues as well. Of course, when abuse, neglect or other harmful behavior is involved, both parents have a responsibility to protect the children first.
In addition, kids can sometimes feel as if they are to blame for a divorce. They may worry that they have somehow come between their parents or led to the split. Both parents can help dispel these notions by reassuring the kids that they are loved and that they are not responsible for their parents' problems.
Unfortunately, divorce can lead to issues with custody and visitation time. Throughout the separation process, a family law attorney can help a divorcing parent to advocate for their relationship with the children. A lawyer can work to negotiate a fair settlement and parenting plan that addresses child custody and support.