Divorce and co-parenting

California parents who have to co-parent with an ex should make every effort to ensure that the relationship works as it should. This entails prioritizing the best interests of the children.

As they go about moving on after a divorce, parents should take extreme care with whom they introduce to their children. Dating again is a process that is only for the adults. Children can also become attached to an adult easily, particularly when that person is being portrayed as safe. If the parent’s romantic relationship does not succeed, it may be difficult for the children to disconnect from that person, and in some cases, make the children feel as if they are going through another divorce.

If a divorced parent enters a new romantic relationship that is becoming serious, they should introduce that person to the children as friend first. In cases in which parents continue to date a person the children dislike, the parents are likely to encounter combative behavior from the children and may risk the connection they have with them.

With the prevalence of blended families, parents should be aware of how step-parents factor into co-parenting. It may be helpful for parents to think of their children’s step-parents as assistant parents. Step-parents do not typically have the authority to make important parenting decisions; rather, their role is to assist the legal parent in whatever manner is being asked.

A family law attorney may work to ensure that parents are able to obtain their desired settlement terms regarding child custody and child support. Depending on the circumstances of a case, the attorney might negotiate to resolve disputes regarding scheduling that is both in the best interests of the children and allows for sufficient parenting time. Litigation may be used to address other child-related issues, including child support.