When parents in California decide to divorce, there are several guidelines that can help them form a healthy, supportive co-parenting relationship. The fact that the marriage did not work out does not mean that both parents can’t work together to support their children and help them feel loved. Taking the right steps toward a positive future should begin from the first days of the divorce by parents staying supportive toward their children and avoiding engaging in negative conversation about their former spouses.
While a divorced parent may have a great deal of anger toward his or her former spouse, the children aren’t the appropriate audience for those feelings. They should be shared with friends, adult family members or a therapist. In most cases, the children love both of their parents, and they don’t want to feel as if they need to take sides in the divorce. It’s also important for kids to feel secure in the fact that the divorce had nothing to do with them. Putting the children first can mean encouraging communication and family time with the other parent as well as working together on a parenting schedule.
The challenges of co-parenting aren’t only emotional. The issues also are often practical. These can be ameliorated by using a physical or digital shared calendar that contains key scheduling items like custody switches, school functions, family events, medical appointments and other plans. By using traceable, written communication options like email, parents can have a clear plan to which they can refer back that can even be handy if dispute resolution is necessary.
By working together to put the children they both love first, divorcing parents can build a new relationship based on successful co-parenting. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing parent to develop a parenting schedule and work to achieve a fair child custody plan.