Do you intend to co-parent during or after a divorce? The majority of San Diego divorce cases which involve children result in child custody and parenting plans which divide the time each child will spend between each of their parent’s households.
Often, the Court will issue “temporary” child custody and parenting time orders if the parents will be living in separate housing during the process of the divorce. Temporary orders usually extend until the end of the case when the Judge enters the final or “permanent” orders in your case.
It is important to keep in mind that your own behavior as a parent in these cases can result in modifications to the orders the Court has issued. The Court will consistently monitor the actions of each co-parent to protect the best interests of the child. Serving as an effective co-parent not only protects and preserves your own rights but ensures the best possible environment for the child(ren).
What are some things to consider if you intend to co-parent during or after a divorce in San Diego?
Keep communications open between your child and the other co-parent. You should never speak poorly about your former spouse, regardless of your own issues or experiences. A co-parent is expected to make sure the other parent is aware of all developments in a child’s life, schedule, health and needs. A co-parent who derides their former spouse in front of the child(ren) or attempts to limit communication or interfere in scheduled parenting time risks harsh sanctions from the Court. These behaviors are often classified as “parental alienation” and these actions can affect your own custody and parenting time rights in the future.
It is important not to take a child’s side against the other co-parent in any dispute, even if you feel the child is right. You should also avoid attempting to get your child(ren) to take your aside against the other co-parent. Effective parenting (from the Court’s perspective) is not about giving in to a child’s every want, but to work together as co-parents to discuss the situation to determine what is in the child’s best interests and share your ultimate decision with the child.
Your child custody and parenting time plan should anticipate as many scenarios as possible. This should cover everything from introducing a new dating partner to how each co-parent will participate in events in the child’s life. If there is a dispute between the co-parents it should never play out in front of the child(ren).
If you intend to co-parent during or after a divorce you need to remember the trust the Court has placed in you, and that these orders can be changed if one of the parties is not acting in the best interests of the child(ren).