For many California families, going through a divorce can be very difficult, especially if the separation is not amicable. In some cases, a parent can become so caught up arguing with their former spouse that they may not realize the effect the dispute is having on their children. While both parents may be hurting, putting aside their differences while the kids are present can help them be happy and well-adjusted when the divorce is finalized.
Unless there is evidence of abuse or neglect, co-parenting is generally considered to be an appropriate option for families. However, this means that both parents have to be involved in how their kids are raised. Parents should be able to agree on similar rules for their households, have similar discipline plans and be able to come to agreements when there are disputes. With proper co-parenting, the children will more likely be stable.
Even parents who are dedicated to co-parenting can still argue and cause problems. To prevent this, the couple could set up a parenting plan, which will put all the agreements in writing. In addition to covering visitation, it can spell out where the kids will spend the holidays and how the parents will resolve disputes.
In most child custody disputes, the courts will act in the best interests of the child. When parents cannot reach a custody agreement, the court will set a schedule that allows both parents to maintain a relationship with the children. If one parent takes steps to prevent the other from seeing the child as agreed to by the court, a family law attorney may help. The attorney may even return to court and seek sole custody on behalf of the client.