Need to Know about Child Custody and Parenting Time

Co-Parenting and Raising Children after a Divorce

Pierre Domercq Child Custody and Visitation

There have been a lot of recent articles on the subjects of child custody, co-parenting and raising children after a divorce.  It is important to understand the Court’s perspective on all communications between those who wish to co-parent.  This is especially true during the process of a divorce, but continues to be a factor as the former spouses work on co-parenting and raising children after a divorce in Carlsbad or North County.

Our Family Courts require the parties to demonstrate their ability to maintain an ongoing, civil “conversation” and effective communications not only between each other but between the other parent and each child.

As in the divorce, the Court’s first concern and yours as well is always the best interests of each child.  This is a journey and your children will grow and change along the way.  If you always begin with the question “what is best for my child?” a positive outcome will usually follow.

Divorce generates strong emotions.  The behavior of each spouse before, during and after the divorce can contribute to these emotional burdens. The Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq understand what you are going through.  We provide sound advice and counsel to help you navigate the process, work through emotions and ensure proper comportment and communications.  The Court is watching, even after the divorce is completed.

It is fine to make minor changes in the parenting time schedule here and there.  If co-parents are going to make substantial changes to accommodate home schooling during the pandemic or time spent with each party it is best to document the situation and have the temporary or new agreement(s) notarized.  If changes are to be permanent it is best to submit them to the Court for review and approval.

Co-parenting and raising children after a divorce is a worthy challenge.  You are up to it!  Maintaining a presence in the lives of your children is obviously important enough to read this article. What do former spouses who share child custody and parenting time have to say about the best strategies to effectively co-parent?

Effective co-parenting requires a focus on each child, flexibility, respect and strong communications.

Communications between former spouses should remain at least neutral.  “If you’re not in a calm state don’t communicate.”  Harsh emails, voicemails or social media posts can and will be used against you in Court.  Modifications may be requested by either party at any time in the future.  Maintain a civil conversation with your former spouse in all mediums and especially in front of the children.

Successful co-parents suggest extensive advance conversations and documented agreement regarding guidelines for crucial times such as the “drop-off or exchange” as well as shared activities such as parent teacher conferences and extra-curricular activities.

Many effective co-parents also recommend a discussion about how and when new relationships will be revealed to the children.  It may not be healthy for your child to have to meet several different potential partners and understand if and when things don’t work out or change.  Many couples agree not to introduce their children to potential new partners until the relationship is several months old.

Co-parenting and raising children after a divorce requires consistent substantial effort and good communications.  As one successful co-parent put it “…establishing the ground rules up front and giving priority to the children’s well being provides a lot of peace.  There are times I am frustrated, disappointed, even hurt.  These usually pass quickly and are my own responsibility to effectively manage.  Protecting that beautiful space where our children can grow and helping them through the process has been a blessing for all of us.”