There are certain things parents in California can do to make their divorce less difficult for their children as well as things they can avoid. For example, parents should reassure children that the divorce is not their fault. They should encourage a good relationship with the other parent and talk to the child without offering an opinion if the child is negative about that parent. Neither parent should badmouth the other.
Parents should try to be consistent with their household rules and appear united in front of the children. However, if there is any parental conflict, children should be kept out of it. Parents should also avoid sharing details of the divorce with their children. They should monitor their child for signs of depression and might ask teachers or friends about the child's welfare. Younger children in particular might not speak about being upset but may act out. In general, parents should try to help children continue their lives much as they were before the divorce.
It is important that a parent does noot not use children to communicate with the other parent or question the child about what the other parent is up to. However, it is also important that the parent avoid acting out of guilt. This includes easing off on discipline.
Parents may struggle to reach an agreement regarding child custody, but if they are able to do so in negotiations instead of going to family law court, it may set the groundwork for a healthier co-parenting relationship than a custody battle. Even if they are in a high-conflict divorce, they might be able to reach an agreement using mediation or another alternative dispute resolution method.