Divorce: Making the best of shared custody

When California spouses determine that their marital relationships are no longer sustainable, they typically face some important decisions. If divorce is part of the plan, parents must also resolve numerous issues concerning their children. In most cases, the court believes shared custody arrangements are best.

Learning to co-parent from separate households is a lot different than parenting together as a married couple. If parents disagree on a particular topic, they must be able to peacefully achieve a compromise; otherwise they might become entangled in a nasty legal battle. A willingness to cooperate and to amicably negotiate issues when disagreements arise can help parents avoid discord as they move on in life.

Co-parents do well to incorporate specific terms in their agreement regarding special occasions such as birthdays or school events. Will only one parent attend at a time or will both be present? Discussing such matters in advance and agreeing on a particular protocol can prevent negative surprises or hurt feelings down the line.

In a shared custody divorce, parents are also wise to remember that although they are no longer a romantic couple, they are still a team when it comes to their kids. Children who witness their parents working together on friendly terms have a greater chance of successfully adapting to their new lifestyles than those who are constantly exposed to parental arguing or unkind behavior. If a California parent encounters a problem he or she does not feel equipped to handle alone, a request for a meeting with an experienced family law attorney is a first logical step to take to obtain added support.

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