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Tips for co-parenting success and helping kids adapt to divorce

Divorce disrupts the lives of all involved, but California parents have the ability to ease the transition for their children. They should be willing to provide age-appropriate answers when their children ask questions about the situation. Children will often face challenges when adapting to life in separate households, but their parents can set the stage for success with a thoughtful approach to co-parenting.

Child psychologists recommend that parents have consistent rules across both households. This lends a sense of stability to the children's daily lives. Unfortunately, parents might start to argue about what the rules should be, especially if they have different views about parenting. To promote the best interests of the children, co-parents should strive to create the same expectations about behavior even if the precise rules and disciplinary methods vary.

Co-parenting requires a great deal of coordination regarding child custody schedules, school activities, vacations, and holidays. To avoid conflict arising from misunderstandings, parents should communicate through email, text message or online family message boards. Written records reduce the chances of fights about who said what.

During the transition to post-divorce life, parents should never place their children in the middle of any battles that they are having with each other. Outside of court, an attorney might broker a resolution to the problem by buffering the parties from hostile confrontations so that they could focus on settling their differences. If private negotiations do not succeed, then an attorney could help a client petition the court for the enforcement of or a modification to the child custody agreement.

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