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Reducing custody disputes between divorced parents

Divorce is stressful for all those involved, especially children. Often, children are forced to let go of one parent and are sometimes required to adjust to a parent's new spouse. Single parents in Oakland may agree that single parenting is difficult and frustrating at times and that it is no less difficult to be a child of a single parent.

Many custody battles between divorcing couples turn nasty with constant accusatory and abusive communication between the parents. The normal emotional stress and trauma suffered by the child during a divorce is further enhanced if the parents are constantly fighting over issues involving the child. The impressionable mind of a child is easily affected by negative parental behavior. Therefore, it is essential that parents behave normally and in a civilized fashion in front of the child.

Parents should refrain from using abusive language and should discuss only issues related to child rearing. Parents should control their emotions and focus on the best interests of the child while discussing custody issues. Discussions should not be held if one spouse is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is also better to avoid discussing child custody issues in front of the child.

It is usually helpful if both parents maintain records of conversations and meetings. This ensures that both parents are on the same page with respect to each issue and it reduces the chance of conflicts. Also, the child needs to understand that although his or her parents are separated, they still care equally for their child. Parents should keep any promises that they make to the child to help build trust and maintain the parent-child bond.

Both parents should participate in all of the important decisions about the upbringing of the child only after discussion. They might consult teachers, doctors and other professionals to determine what is in the best interests of the child. Above all, parents should try to make the life of the child comfortable and as stress-free as possible after the divorce.

Source: The Superior Court of California, "How to reduce custody-related conflict between parents," accessed on June 19, 2015

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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