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Divorcing with children

When California parents consider splitting up, the focus might be on their emotions and not how the divorce could potentially affect their children. However, parents should keep in mind that divorce can have a dramatic impact on the kids involved.

Parents will have to make decisions about when to file and how to manage the family until the separation becomes official. Many parents file for divorce in March. Unfortunately, this can cause added stress for kids who are in school as they suddenly have to deal with family changes on top of homework and other responsibilities. While waiting to file until the summer can help, parents must still be able to live under one roof peacefully. If they cannot, then separating as soon as possible so that the children's living situation can remain calm may be more appropriate.

Once the parents do separate and begin the divorce process, having temporary custody and child support orders in place can minimize fighting between parents. Although temporary custody and visitation arrangements could change later on, they can help ensure that both parents have access to their children and that there are ways of calmly handling any disagreements that might come up.

There are several ways parents can go about the divorce process. While litigation is an option, this method often pits parents against each other. If the parents can work together, they may wish to avoid litigation and go with a mediator. The mediator will help them come to an agreement regarding child custody issues and visitation. A family law attorney may walk the parent through the process and look over any proposed agreement.

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