When California parents choose to divorce, some of the most controversial and contentious issues that can arise are those related to their children. Concerns over child custody and visitation can be the most emotionally and practically challenging issues at stake. However, no matter how conflict-oriented the divorce is, facilitating a positive co-parenting relationship can be critically important for their children’s psychological health and well-being.

One-third of all children in the United States live apart from their biological fathers. This mirrors the relatively high divorce rate, as over 40 percent of first marriages end in a divorce. The fact that children live apart from one parent does not have to mean that those children lose their close, loving bond, however. A co-parenting agreement can nurture children’s connections to both of their parents.

It can be important for parents to take action to support their child’s relationship with the other parent. While at times, moving away from a home close to the other parent may be necessary due to financial or employment reasons, it is particularly important in such cases to put extra effort into maintaining the co-parenting agreement. So long as both parents are loving and not abusive, research clearly indicates that children benefit from the presence of both of them in their lives. Whether one parent has primary residential custody or they share joint custody, both parents can go the extra mile to support their children’s bonding.

For parents who are seeking a divorce, it is always important to remember that they are divorcing each other, not their kids. A family law attorney can provide strong representation and counsel to divorcing parents to help protect their connection with their children and achieve a fair child custody agreement.