California parents who are splitting up should make sure that their children have consistent household rules as they move between homes. Parents may have separate rules either because of genuinely different ideas about raising children or because they want to spite their ex-spouses. No matter the reason, the differences can be damaging for children. It is important that parents try to sit down for an in-person meeting about household rules. Knowing what rules they are unwilling to change will help parents be more flexible with other rules to reach a compromise. Parents might ask their children to participate in the process.

However, this face-to-face meeting may be unsuccessful, and if this happens, parents can take advantage of other resources to help them resolve conflict. Options include mediation and parenting classes. In a parenting class, parents might learn the important of reaching a consensus on household rules or find out more about typical rules. A mediator sits down with parents to help them find a solution that satisfies both parties.

Parents can also turn to a judge to make these decisions. However, there are reasons parents may want to consider this a last resort. Once the case goes before a judge, parents do not control what decision might be made, and they may be unhappy with that decision.

For the same reason, parents may also want to negotiate child custody and visitation outside of court if they can. These can be difficult, emotional conversations, but parents can enlist the assistance of mediators and lawyers. For parents who have concerns about the well-being of their children because of issues such as domestic abuse, litigation may be more appropriate.