When California parents choose to divorce, child custody and visitation will obviously be an important issue for them. Some parents let the court make child custody orders for them while others negotiate agreements. People sometimes become rigid adherents to these original schedules, but they may find that their children's needs change over time.
When people are able to come to an agreement through mediation, they are likelier to be happier with what they are able to devise themselves rather than relying on judges to make orders for them. Still, adjusting the parenting time schedules as the child grows older may be necessary. If parents have established a pattern of working together to raise their children, adjusting the schedule should be easier.
With flexibility and being responsive to the needs of the children, parents might be able to make changes to their schedule as needed and without having to go through court. Children's needs are different according to their developmental stages. For example, a child who is a toddler when his or her parents divorce will likely have far different needs than the same child will when he or she is a teenager.
Parents should realize that they will need to work together for many years on behalf of their children. It may be best for parents who are divorcing to try to set aside their bitterness and work towards negotiating child custody and visitation agreements that will work for both them and their children. Parents who choose to go through divorce mediation may be able to reach a mediated settlement of all of the issues that are in dispute in their divorce. This may help the parents to move forward with their lives while having improved relationships with each other for their children's benefit.