Orange County, CA has one of the highest divorce rates in the nation. As the divorce rate continues to climb, there are more and more children who visit their parents in separate houses and come from divorced households. The decision to divorce is always a very difficult one. When there are minor children involved, this choice can be even more challenging. Do the parents stay together “for the sake of the children”? If they do so, will exposing the children to more conflict and arguments in the household be more harmful than the divorce? These are some important considerations for parents to weigh when considering divorce. If you are considering a divorce and you have children, this blog is for you. Here are the top 3 considerations to think about:
1. Parenting values:
The break down of so many marriages relates to a difference in core values. These values could be relating to money, religion and a host of other issues that may arise. When you have kids, your differences often come to the surface and are more noticeable. Before you commit to mediation, think about what your values with respect to parenting are. Is there something that is important to you that you would want to be conveyed in your parenting agreement? If so, divorce mediation is the right place for you. In divorce mediation, you can communicate your thoughts, values, and feelings to your spouse in order to ensure you are on the same page for parenting.
2. Your child(ren)’s age and maturity:
When your child is very young, there are going to be different considerations to take into account for parenting. For example, if your child is still breast feeding, it is likely that he/she may need more time with the mother. Also, because your child may be in the formative stages of life, it is important that you see your child as frequently as possible to continue building a strong bond with him/her. If your child is older, creating a parenting plan may be a little bit more straight forward. However, you and your spouse will still want to consider how to set consistent standards for discipline and reward systems. In divorce mediation, you can communicate openly about what you believe to be ideal for your child(ren). A judge will not decide where your child(ren) will spend time and with whom. These decisions are left with you, the parents.
3. Creating a new home:
Divorce can cause a lot of financial and emotional strain on families. This can be true even if the parents go through the divorce mediation process. Simply put, the parents are now trying to support two households on the same income they used to use to support one. Despite these financial constraints, you must do your best to create a safe, comfortable, and loving environment where your child(ren) can come to spend time with you. This will make the transition much easier on your child(ren) in the short and long term.
As a parent, it is your responsibility to put your children first. Divorce mediation provides a safe place for you and your spouse to create a parenting plan that is right for your children. Don’t let a judge decide what is best for your children.