While California law allows you to divorce your spouse, you cannot sever the relationship that you have with your children. Furthermore, you cannot unilaterally sever the relationship that your former spouse has with your children. Ultimately, you will need to reach some sort of consensus that keeps the best interest of your kids at the forefront.
Compromise is key
Ideally, you will set a series of ground rules that your child is expected to follow at all times. For instance, you may insist that your child go to bed at 8 p.m. on school nights or refrain from eating sugar. However, you shouldn’t get too upset if the other parent allows your kid to stay up a few minutes after 8 p.m. to watch a show or have a little bit of ice cream as a treat. The only time that it makes sense to take legal action is if there is reason to believe that your child is being subject to physical, emotional or other types of abuse.
Keep your kids out of it
If you have a problem with your former partner, talk to your partner about the issue. Trying to turn your children into spies or allies may result in changes to a child custody and visitation agreement. It will also likely cause emotional harm that may take years or decades for your kids to overcome.
The ability to work with your child’s other parent is one of the most important factors a judge will consider when crafting a child custody order. Even if you are denied custody of your children, working with the other parent is still important as it will help your child adjust to the new reality that you have created.