California fans of the hip-hop performer Nas may know that he has been involved in a child custody dispute with his ex-wife Kelis over their 8-year-old son Knight. The custody agreement that the two have agreed upon includes specific parameters about the time each will have the child. It also addresses their use of social media involving the child and prohibits it.
Divorce courts in California and around the country have long been instructed to keep "the best interests of the child" front and center when hearing child custody cases. Issues such as choosing the custodial parent, visitation rights, relocation, and more have for decades been decided within an established paradigm. That long-held view often defaults to the mother retaining physical custody while the father gets temporary custody every other weekend and time during summers when children are out of school.
Parents who live in California and other parts of the country might have to deal with a narcissistic ex-spouse who tries to keep the children away by using gaslighting techniques. This may be common in shared custody agreements when one ex-spouse tries to get the agreement altered for more custody time.
For some separated couples in California and around the country, intimate partner violence is a common occurrence during marriage and after the separation. Interestingly, the type of violence that occurred has a significant impact on the ability for parents to make child custody arrangements and effectively co-parent their children following a separation.
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.
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.
While California residents may not have much knowledge about shared parenting, it can have benefits for mothers, fathers and children after a divorce. In about 80 percent of child custody cases, the mother is awarded physical custody. This means that a mother may not be able to go back to work while a father may be disappointed to have limited contact with his children.
California parents who are going through a divorce may be able to settle child custody matters through informal discussions. They may also try to resolve custody matters through alternate resolution methods such as mediation. Of course, the alternative is litigation, but most cases are decided outside of the courtroom.
While decisions around child custody and visitation can be a contentious part of a California divorce, the child custody exchange can be a trigger for conflict as well. These exchanges happens when one parent's period of custody ends and the other begins, and how they will take place is often outlined in the child custody agreement. Exchanges usually occur without incident, but some have sparked violence.
Some California fathers may be among the 48 percent who say they would like to quit their jobs and stay home with their children but cannot because they need the income. Just over half of mothers say the same thing. The number of households in which the father is the breadwinner has dropped significantly since 1970 when almost half of couples were in families with children in which only the father worked outside the home. By 2015, this had dropped to 27 percent.