As a parent, one sometimes may find that he or she not only disagrees with their children about how they should be raised, but one may also disagree with his or her spouse. It is usually possible for parents to negotiate between themselves regarding what is in the best interest of the child; however, this can become more complicated in the event of divorce. While California courts will not routinely intervene between married parents, they can and do intercede between unmarried or divorcing couples. Without proper forethought, this can become a problem in itself.
Judges have the power to make decisions about children of the union based on an outmoded idea that, upon divorce, one parent becomes the custodian and the other is relegated to being a mere visitor. When the initial separation takes place, couples can — and often do — find it difficult to agree on many things, but these days, couples are usually able to come to more equitable and mutually beneficial agreements over their child’s future. The word custody is being used less nowadays, in favor of less emotive terms such as parenting plans.
A judge goes by guidelines, set down to outline what considerations should be made to ensure a child’s future well-being. If, for example, the parenting schedule agreed on by the parents is deemed inadequate, the judge may overrule what has been agreed upon. Such cases may not occur often, but it is preferable to ensure that any agreements made between spouses will meet with the approval of the court.
Going through the process of divorce mediation can help couples that continue to find it difficult to reach a parenting compromise that suits both parties. In California, an impartial third-party can facilitate discussion about many things that may be difficult to resolve, including parenting schedules and property division. In seeking appropriate advice and guidance from relevant sources, it is possible to lessen the difficulties of divorce, so that no one is caught in the middle and the best interest of the child is preserved.
Source: The New York Times, “How Divorced Parents Lost Their Rights“, Robert E. Emery, Sep. 6, 2014