For California couples headed toward divorce, it can be a challenging and emotional time. This is especially true when they also have young children. Both spouses may have the best interests of their children at heart, but the divorce itself can be a highly stressful experience. Pursuing a collaborative divorce or a mediation process can help these couples develop a lasting, positive co-parenting relationship.
The creation of a parenting plan can be a key part of protecting both parents' relationships with their children moving forward. The plan not only addresses issues like child custody and visitation but also serves as a framework for future parenting decisions. A non-adversarial framework can be helpful in setting the tone for development of a successful agreement.
It can be helpful for the parties in a divorce mediation to think of each other as partners working together for the common interests of their children, even after the romantic relationship has long been set aside. In addition, developing a formal plan can be important to avoid uncertainties. Having clear guidelines for decision-making and information-sharing can help both parents to deal appropriately with issues. The agreement can also lay out lines of communication to deal with emergency situations, schedule changes and potential conflicts around the children's opportunities and activities. Planned, formal meetings between both parents can also be important for regular check-ins.
Parents going through a divorce are facing an immensely emotional time, and mediation can help to steer the situation on an amicable course that prioritizes parent-child relationships. The mediator is an impartial third party, and each spouse is entitled to separate legal representation.