Law Offices of Hannah E. Sims, LL.M.
Oakland Certified Family Law Specialist

Collaboration leads to healther divorce outcomes

California parents headed for divorce court may be able to avoid an ugly fight if both parties are focused and make use of available resources. In the middle of a painful divorce, there could be temptation to extract revenge through the legal system, but doing so often puts children in the middle of a dispute between the two people they love the most. No divorce is pleasant, but keeping focus on the children involved will generally improve the actions and decisions of the parents during even the most unpleasant breakups. Learning to work together with the goal of child welfare allows parents to get past the hurt and work toward a common goal.

Often, the best starting place for negotiations is an even split of parenting time between the parties. Most jurisdictions have adopted the notion of 50/50 parenting rather than clinging to historical gender-based stereotypes. From the starting place, adjustments are almost always in order. Parents must be honest with themselves and each other regarding their ability and motivation for equal parenting. Work schedules and residential logistics sometimes mean that parents are unable to equally split time. If the parties remain focused on the children, they can learn to co-parent in a way that is conducive to emotionally healthy children regardless of parents' differences during the marriage.

Collaborative divorce is a process through which attorneys and mediators guide divorcing couples through the marital dissolution process as amicably as possible by maintaining strict focus on the best interests of the children. The process is not for everyone, but it can be of tremendous benefit to those who give it a good faith effort.

Deciding to divorce is a decision not to be taken lightly. Consulting a qualified family law attorney about child custody and other matters may help clients receive guidance regarding the process of marital dissolution.

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