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Experiencing a divorce can understandably be hard on the parents and the children in California. While the parents may squabble about who will get custody of the kids or whether to pursue joint custody, the children may worry about losing one of their parents in the split-up. A few tips can help the parents to navigate this often tricky process for the benefit of the kids and, subsequently, for themselves.

During a divorce proceeding, it’s best to make decisions that will help to make the children’s lives the least tumultuous as possible. During the first few years following a divorce, the children may have to adjust to going to two different households, while the parents have to get used to co-parenting. It’s wise to always put the children’s needs ahead of the parents’ wishes.

It’s worth noting that co-parenting, in which both parents are equally involved in the children’s lives, is generally proven to be best for the children. However, it’s highly likely that the custody situation will not turn out this way if the two divorcing parents end up going to court to resolve their issues. If the two parents can come up with a parenting plan on their own, this may increase their chances of having an outcome that both parents like.

A parenting plan can cover details such as which parent will get to spend which Christmases and other holidays with the kids. Coming up with this type of plan through divorce mediation or direct negotiation requires patience and a willingness to compromise with a soon-to-be-ex. It is within the rights of both parents to fight for custody while striving for a settlement that is fair for both parties in California.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce Lessons: 8 Critical Choices in Making a Positive Split", John McElhenney, Aug. 5, 2014

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