San Diego Divorce: Co-parenting: Creating two homes for your children
California's public policy is that both parents remain involved in their children's lives after divorce, wherever possible. Provided each parent is basically committed to remaining an active figure in their children's lives, the parents may be able to create a new, workable parenting relationship after the parents split up. This means separating the role of parenting from the past role of lover and spouse and creating a new "business-type" relationship.
Before the divorce, the parents may have expected the other parent to pick up the children when a parent is sick or running late. Such expectations are unreasonable after a divorce. Now parents must be courteous and respect each other's right to privacy. Good communication is essential, and flexibility is important. A key to successful co-parenting is putting the children's needs ahead of your own. You and the other parent may have chosen to part ways, but your children may not have wanted to leave either of you. Children often lose when their parents separate. They no longer have full-time guidance and direction from two parents.
Children suffer most when exposed to conflicts between their parents. Children love and need both parents, but they need their parents to act like adults by keeping adult and court matters away from their children.
Parents can help by following certain rules:
Anne B. Howard is a divorce attorney and Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Carlsbad, California. She serves North County and San Diego Courts as well as the Hemet Family Court in Riverside County.