Divorce is hard enough on the two adults involved in the process, but when children are involved, it takes on another level of stress and trauma. Your children will experience a variety of emotions — anger, fear, sadness. They may also feel confused and anxious when it comes to where they’ll be living, with whom they’ll be living, and what kind of relationship they’ll have with each of their parents.
In the past, in the majority of divorces, the children would live with one parent — the primary custodian — for the majority of the time and would spend regularly scheduled “visitation time” with the other parent.
However, divorcing parents today are devising a lot of new ways to divide up the time that they spend with their children. Currently, the courts in California have recognized the fact that traditional custody vs. visitation arrangements are not always in the best interest of a child.
Therefore, as long as both parents can agree on a custody arrangement that is in compliance with California law, they are given a good amount of latitude when it comes to determining how to apportion their parenting rights without intervention from the court.
Two options for parenting after divorce are parallel parenting and co-parenting.
Every Situation is Unique
Parenting becomes very complicated as a result of a divorce. Emotions run high, affecting your’s and your spouse’s judgement, resulting in conflict and hostility when it comes to issues surrounding parenting and custody. With the co-parenting option, both parents continue mutually to play an active role in the lives of their children.
In order for co-parenting to be successful, it requires flexibility, teamwork, communication, accountability, and dedication on the part of both parents. It means an amicable end to your marriage, being able to put your children’s interests ahead of your own, and learning how to interact positively with your former spouse
Divorced spouses who choose to co-parent may attend special events, celebrate holidays, and even take vacations together as a “family.” They establish routines that help their children adjust better to their lives after divorce. For example, they may create a rotating schedule for pick up and drop off at school.
Parallel parenting, on the other hand, is an option when divorcing parents aren’t on good terms with one another. One or both parents are hostile and bear a lot of resentment toward the other, are unwilling to work together to develop a plan for parenting after the divorce, and/or don’t agree with the other’s approach to parenting. In parallel parenting, parents maintain separate relationships with their children and agree, in principal, not to interfere in each other’s lives.
Developing Your Plan
Most divorcing parents find that their situation falls somewhere between true co-parenting and parallel parenting. Designing a custom parenting strategy for divorced families should be part of the divorce process. At Buncher Family Law, family law attorneys in Orange County, we have extensive experience when it comes to representing clients in a wide variety of custody and visitation issues. Our goal is to make sure that your needs as well as those of your children are met.