If your family is going through a lot of challenging changes at this time, you're not alone in your struggle. Especially if divorce has prompted such changes, there are many California households where similar circumstances are unfolding at this time. No two families are exactly alike, so neither are any two divorce situations. Like all good parents, however, you no doubt want to resolve all the issues in as low-stress a manner as possible because you want what's best for your children.
As you and your ex work out the details of your settlement, your children's best interests will be a central focus. How you decide to go about it may help your kids cope or may wind up causing them even more stress, which is why it's so important to choose your course of action carefully. Divorce mediation is an alternative form of dispute resolution that enables you and your co-parent to work as a team for the sake of your kids.
Parental conflict creates an unhealthy environment for kids
There likely isn't a family household in California where parents have not had disagreements. In fact, there likely isn't a household where children have not, at some point, overheard their parents arguing or disagreeing about a certain topic. Studies show, however, that when children have constant exposure to parental conflict, it causes them a lot of emotional stress.
As you navigate divorce, your children will be affected by the situation. If they witness a lot of contention between you and their other parent, it might make it more difficult for them to come to terms with the changes in their lives. On the other hand, if you and your ex agree to mediate your divorce, your kids will see that you are willing to cooperate and discuss things peacefully, which, in turn, teaches them valuable coping skills.
Coping with divorce one day at a time
Each of your kids may react differently to your divorce. One of the most important things you can do to help them cope is to let them know that your divorce is not their fault, and that you love them and will be right by their side to support them as they adapt to a new lifestyle. If you become entangled in a nasty courtroom battle, it may have a residual effect on your children's ability to move on in life in a healthy manner.
On the bright side, if you and your ex can agree to peacefully resolve your differences through negotiation sessions, you may not only be able to save time and money (mediation is typically a lot less expensive than litigation), but you can show your kids that you and your co-parent have their best interests in mind. Divorce brings change to children's lives, but it doesn't necessarily have to ruin them.