When California parents get a divorce, they might need to be particularly careful about ensuring that their children spend enough time with their father. In some cases, if the child lives with the mother and the parents are not diligent, a child’s relationship with the father can suffer.
One woman moved 80 miles away from her son’s father, and this presented difficulties because she did not have a car to take the child for weekend visits. In that case, the father was able to expend the additional effort to spend time with the child, but this is not always possible. Eventually, the woman moved back so her son could be nearer his father, but this was costly as well. The woman had to leave a home she owned behind and rent an apartment, and the son had to leave friends at school. However, ultimately, it was good for the child to be nearer his father and have the opportunity to maintain that relationship.
One parent may feel that the other is not particularly good at parenting, but it is important to remember that an absent parent is worse than a mediocre one. Unless one parent puts the child’s well-being in danger through addiction, neglect or abuse, the child should usually be able to spend adequate time with both parents.
Child custody negotiations can be a time when parents put aside their differences and attempt to reach a solution that is in the best interests of their children. They might use an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, to find a cooperative solution rather than using the more adversarial process of litigation. This can also help them begin thinking in terms of working together as co-parents since this is a role they may have for years to come.