California fathers involved in a divorce may be concerned about the impact of the end of their marriage on their children. Besides the regular concerns for a child’s emotional development, many fathers worry that their bonds with their children will be strained or lessened following a divorce. However, ending a marriage does not need to mean reducing emotional involvement with one’s children. Being prepared for the child custody process can help a father to maintain and improve the relationship with his kids.

Knowledge about the child custody process and a clear view of options for the family can be some of the most critical tools going into a divorce and child custody conference or mediation. The types of custody and visitation options available should be on a father’s mind before the actual custody hearing or conference. Coming to the table with proposals and solutions can help in developing a positive and effective parenting plan.

When co-parents can work together, despite their feelings about the divorce itself, to develop a parenting plan and custody schedule, it can reflect well on both parents’ relationships with their children. A mutually agreed-upon parenting plan can be accepted by a judge and given the force of a court order, and a good plan respects the best interests of the children as well as the schedules and needs of each parent. In more contested cases, a judge can enter a court order based on the submissions of both parents.

A family law attorney may be able to provide advice during the child custody process. Whether representing a father’s interests in a custody hearing or working together collaboratively to ensure a positive, flexible parenting plan that meets all of the guidelines of state law, a family lawyer may be an important partner in affirming a father’s relationship with his children after divorce.