When a California couple with children begins experiencing marital difficulties, there is typically a great deal of thought about what’s best for the family. If the conclusion is that divorce makes the most sense for all under the circumstances, it is natural for both parents to focus on the legal issues such as community property, separate property, property division and spousal support. Of course, the issues of child custody and support are at the forefront; although the settlement of these issues is part of the divorce process, the welfare of the kids as they transition from one family home to two separate residences is of the utmost importance.
Believing that the children will be better off after the divorce is finalized and the conflicts are over may be true, but children are extremely vulnerable during the process. Family relationship experts stress the importance of several considerations that parents should keep in mind. First, consistency of lifestyle, routine and activities should be maintained as closely as possible. It is natural to seek comfort in the familiar when there is turmoil in part of one’s life.
Second, the parents need to maintain a cordial relationship with each other whenever possible. Studies show that children of divorce fare better through school and later in life when they have a close relationship with both parents, and this is best fostered when the parents show respect for and support the other. Third, parents should show the kids lots of love and affection. This means real love and not that which is bought; kids know the difference.
Even in the situation of a no-fault divorce or one that is amicable for the most part, there are important legal issues to be decided that will have a significant impact on everyone’s future. An experienced family law attorney may be invaluable in navigating these difficult times.