The primary concern of divorcing parents in California and around the country generally is the welfare of the children involved is. Even spouses embroiled in acrimonious disputes are often able to put their differences aside during child custody and visitation discussions. When spouses accept that their former husbands or wives generally act with the best of intentions as far as their children are concerned, minor misunderstandings or questionable decisions can be less frustrating and easier to forgive.
Most experts agree that co-parenting solutions work best and bitter child custody disputes should be avoided whenever possible. As a rule, children raised in a co-parenting environment have less emotional problems because they know that both of their parents care about them and both lay down similar rules and have similar expectations. Seeing their divorced parents acting rationally and responsibly also sets a good example.
Divorced parents should at all costs avoid dragging their children into their domestic disputes or personal dramas. Using children as sounding boards or messengers can have disastrous consequences, and parents who argue often may be wise to take a proactive approach to this problem by establishing clear parenting rules in writing early in the divorce process. These plans should clearly define rights and responsibilities, but they should not be so onerous or restrictive that they encourage parents to search for loopholes.
Experienced family law attorneys will likely understand that reaching amicable settlements can be difficult when the matters being discussed are delicate and emotions are in play. When divorcing spouses are unable to reach a mutually agreeable understanding, attorneys may suggest alternative approaches to avoid the cost and uncertain outcome of a civil trial. Divorce mediation allows contentious issues to be discussed in a less adversarial atmosphere, and it encourages spouses to find common ground before they begin to work through their differences.