Coparenting is a difficult but necessary endeavor for most divorced parents in California. Unless abuse is an issue, it's usually accepted that it's in the child's best interests to see both parents. Parents should not interfere with this relationship. Furthermore, a child should feel comfortable talking about their time at the other parent's house.
It's also important to maintain consistent expectations across households. Even if parents have different coparenting approaches, this may be more realistic than trying to have matching rules. If necessary, parents can use online tools to help them with communication. These tools record all exchanges in case they need to go to mediation later.
Children should never be placed in the middle of a parental dispute or be required to take messages back and forth between exes. Any questions from the kids about the divorce should be answered honestly but without blaming the other parent. Children should be reassured that they were not at fault. If disputing parents attend the same events for their children, it's best to behave appropriately. Stepparents should not attempt to replace parents.
Parents should try to resolve any differences without going to court. However, there are certain situations that require going back through legal channels. If the parent who pays child support loses a job or cannot keep up payments because of another change in circumstances, they may ask for a payment modification. Until this modification is approved, however, the parent will still owe the same amount monthly. A family law attorney could help a client secure a fair child support obligation.