California parents who are considering divorce should know that separating can be a very difficult process. Even after the divorce has been finalized, there are likely to be situations related to the kids that may be difficult to handle. However, the co-parenting relationship should be all about looking after the best interests of the children.
One way to make the best of a co-parenting relationship is to keep both households engaged with the children's lives. While the marriage may have ended in a divorce, this doesn't mean the end of the parent-child relationship. An exception would be if one parent exhibited abusive behavior toward the children.
Another way to make co-parenting effective is to maintain the same rules for both households. However, deciding on what the rules should be and how to enforce them can cause conflicts between co-parents. In order to avoid conflict, co-parents may want to consider establishing general expectations for both households instead of strict rules. For example, one of the rules may require that everyone in the households, including children, parents and stepparents, practice patience and kindness with one another. Using general expectations could prevent conflict between co-parents and give the children the consistency they will need. Both households should also have calendars that clearly display the custody/visitation schedule.
A family law attorney may work to obtain a client's desired settlement terms regarding child custody and visitation. Legal counsel could assist with negotiating the terms of a co-parenting agreement. As a last resort, litigation may be used to protect a parent's rights.