With any significant life change, you must sit down and have difficult conversations. In any family disruption, it is important to speak at the developmental level of the child.
Now that Thanksgiving is over, the end-of-year holidays are upon us. Diwali, Hanukah, and Christmas will all be here before we know it. While this is supposed to be the happiest time of the year for the whole family, it can be particularly stressful if a divorce is happening at the same time.
While the decision to divorce may not have been yours, if you have children you must put yourself in their shoes with each step you take in the divorce process. How you react has the potential to affect your long-term relationship with your child(ren).
There are likely many lessons to be gleaned from the recent memoir of Steve Jobs’ daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Some of them are abstract, facing up to one’s past, remembering pain and working through it. Most of them are unique to Lisa’s relationship with her genius, yet famously abrasive father.
Children in California whose parents are no longer in a relationship benefit when their parents can work together to create customized and workable parenting plans. Psychological research shows that children are deeply affected by conflict between their parents, whether the parents are together or not. The best way to protect your children from the harmful effects of divorce is to do whatever you can to reduce conflict between you and the other parent.
When actors Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt ended their marriage, Californians watched closely to see what would happen to their wealth, their careers and their children. While Jolie apparently retained custody of their kids in the following months, Pitt continued to play a role in the children's lives. Recently, though, a court has ruled that changes must be made to the structure of the former couple's custody plan to ensure that the kids continue to have a relationship with their dad.
Parents often watch in amazement as their kids acquire new competencies and skills. A San Francisco parent may marvel at the grace of their young child moves when only months before they were a clumsy toddler. The parent of a teenager may lament the passage of time as they assist their high schooler with college applications. Despite their efforts, parents cannot stop their children from growing into the special individuals that they were destined to become.
The structures of California families are subject to change when parents' divorce or separate and create new relationships with new partners. A child may have a biological mother and father as well as a step-mother, step-father and step-siblings if their biological parents enter into subsequent legal relationships. However, a parent generally does not lose their rights to their child when their ex-partner remarries. This post will examine how parental rights are established despite changing family structures.
It is important that parents work to preserve their parental rights if they go through separations or divorces so that they may stay involved in the important decision-making processes that go into raising their children. For example, a California parent who has sole or joint legal custody of their child should be able to voice their preferences and concerns regarding important issues, such as schooling and religion, and have their sentiments acknowledged by the courts. However, when parents simply cannot agree on how these topics should be addressed and courts must make decisions for them, there are a number of factors that must be weighed.
Readers of this blog who have kids or who spend time around children may have noticed that despite being similar in age, two children may be very different people. Consider two 5-year-olds and how their personalities and characteristics may diverge. One may be outgoing and loud while the other may be reserved and quiet. One may have strong academic skills and the other may struggle to complete basic tasks. One may have significantly stronger control over their emotions than the other, who may succumb to difficult situations and regress to tears. There are an infinite number of ways that children can differ from each other and those differences make every child unique.