Divorce is common in California and other states. When children are involved, separation can involve significant emotional stress and negotiation about parenting plans. It is important for divorcing couples to consider how to best co-parent their children after the relationship has ended.

In any child custody or divorce case, a judge’s primary concern when making decisions is the best interests of the children. Separated parents who are learning to co-parent should make it a top priority when they are making decisions about child custody.

It is important to set boundaries quickly and firmly after a relationship has ended. Healthy boundaries may differ for everyone. On the same note, establishing how communication will continue about the children is important. Parents will need to figure out how to share important information about the children, such as grades and medical records, as well as how to coordinate visitation times and phone calls when the children are with the other parent.

Taking one’s feelings into account after a relationship has ended and allowing time for processing the emotions is another important step. Loved ones may not understand why the relationship has ended, and it is not necessary for them to understand.

Going through a divorce is a stressful event, but not all divorces need to be messy and emotional. Consulting an attorney experienced in family law litigation may help a person who is going through separation and divorce. A divorce lawyer may be able to assist by filing pleadings, interviewing witnesses, conducting depositions and presenting the case before a judge.

In some cases, it may be possible to settle a divorce case out of court. Options like mediation allow parents to come together and discuss a plan that will work for both of them. Judges sometimes order mediation as a precursor to a trial or hearing. Mediation involves presenting the case to a third party mediator who works to try to help the parties reach an agreement prior outside of court.