Parents in California who get a divorce are likely to have to co-parent with their ex-spouse. In addition to two biological parents, co-parenting situations can also apply to grandparent guardians or adoptive parents. No matter what type of co-parent situation is in place, it is important the all parties involved take the necessary steps to ensure that the welfare of the children is the priority.
Co-parents should make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children. Divorced parents should realize that the end of their marriage does not mean the end of the parent-child relationship, and while they may rather not spend time with their ex-spouse, the presence of the children's other parent in their lives is very important. There are circumstances in the presence of the other parent in the children's lives may not be for the best, such as if there has been abusive behavior exhibited by that parent toward the children.
It is also helpful to practice consistency regarding the rules of both households. To avoid conflict between the co-parents, it may be best to establish general expectations instead of concrete rules that have to be followed. For example, the rules for both households could require that all of the people living in the households, including the parents, children and any step-parents, be patient and respectful with each other. Using general expectations as a basis for how both households should work can give the children much-needed consistency without the giving co-parents the opportunity to argue about rules.
A family law attorney may assist parents with resolving disputes regarding child custody and visitation. The attorney might explain the process for having existing child custody orders modified. The attorney may negotiate on behalf of clients to obtain co-parenting terms that are in the best interests of the children.