Sometimes, when a parent's relationship with their spouse has deteriorated, it is best for the parents to divorce. Some parents in California may fear that this will cause the child to suffer irreversible harm, but this may not be the case. According to one psychological study, 80 percent of children studied whose parents were divorced did not experience any long-lasting negative effects due to the split. Establishing a feasible parenting plan that meets the needs of all involved can be key in helping the child adjust to their life post-divorce.
When developing a child custody and parenting plan, there are certain topics that should be addressed to ensure that the plan serves the child's best interests. First, parents should establish the extent to which they will co-parent. What issues will they agree on together, and which issues will they be allowed to address on their own when the child is in their care? Whether they share joint legal custody or whether one parent has sole legal custody will determine how parents will make major life decisions regarding the child.
Parents should also establish who will have the child in their care and when. Issues such as geography, work schedules and the desire to keep the child in the same school and community will play a role in making this decision. Whether parents share joint physical custody or whether one parent will have physical custody and the other parent will have visitation rights is key to establishing an appropriate parenting plan
Children are benefited by having a strong relationship with each parent. Parents can cooperate in raising their children, even if they are divorced and no longer live together. Ensuring that the agreed-upon child custody and parenting plan is followed can provide the child with the stability and routines needed to thrive following the divorce.