Divorce can be tough on kids, even when the split is for the best overall, and so it's important for parents to think of the children during and after the process. Often, you can craft a parenting plan that focuses on them and makes things go smoothly. Here are a few of the best things you can do for them:
1. Practice consistency and reliability. If you're supposed to pick the kids up from school on Tuesdays and Thursdays, make sure you're always there and that you're on time.
2. Don't be negative regarding your ex. The two of you don't have to be friends, but try to keep that between you. Don't say negative things about your ex when the kids are around or try to turn them against him or her.
3. Split up your time equally. You may want to have custody and see your kids more than your ex, but studies have shown that it's best for them to see both parents. Think of them, not yourself.
4. Let children have choices, but don't put them in hard situations. For example, you may feel you're being nice by telling the children they can choose where to live, but they may just feel stressed and guilty about having to pick between two parents that they love.
5. Consider all of your options. This includes co-parents, parallel parenting, bird-nesting, and more. Find the options that are best for your kids.
You can decide much of this in court, before you're officially divorced, so it's important to know what legal steps are needed in California.
Source: Huffington Post, "The 18 Best Things You Can Do For Your Kids After Divorce," Brittany Wong, accessed June 17, 2016