California parents may find themselves in conflict after a divorce is finalized, but this does not always mean they need to return to court. In fact, a judge is unlikely to look favorably on a parent who keeps going to court over relatively minor parenting issues. There may be better ways to resolve these types of conflicts.
A number of professionals might be available to help parents navigate topics they disagree on. A co-parenting counselor can offer a therapeutic approach to conflict resolution that parents may be able to continue using later. A co-parenting coordinator acts as a kind of arbitrator who makes decisions about smaller issues such as children’s activities although they cannot make decisions about major issues like custody.
A collaborative divorce is one option for parents, and it involves hiring collaborative lawyers and agreeing to avoid litigation. This may turn into a true collaborative effort as other professionals such as child specialists may be brought in to offer expert opinions. A mediator can help parents work through conflicts during or after the divorce as well. If parents want to make decisions from mediation legally binding, they can bring in their attorneys. However, parents might want to try talk out their issues first before bringing professionals in and see if they can resolve their differences in that manner.
Parents will need to return to court to address major issues such as child custody modification or changes in child support. They can make an effort during divorce to address smaller issues they anticipate in the parenting agreement. This may cover points as minor as children’s bedtimes or who is responsible for driving them to various activities. The parenting agreement should be flexible enough to allow for changes as children get older.