Gumm & Green, LLP, Attorneys at Law
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Co-parenting and house rules after divorce

Divorcing parents in California usually want what is best for their children. Even in divorces where tensions are high, parents will usually work together to minimize the trauma of marital breakdown for their kids.

When parents establish two separate households, however, conflicts can arise. In some cases, parents may differ significantly in their philosophies. This results in two sets of "house rules" that govern things like bedtimes, snacks and the type of media children are allowed to enjoy. These differences can sometimes create frustration and confusion for parents and kids alike.

In many cases, these differences can be worked out. Once parents identify where their house rules differ, they may wish to get together and make decisions that will provide more consistency for the children. Occasionally, parents may find that there are areas where they do not feel they can compromise. In such cases, they may want to work harder to share most of the same rules while maintaining a few distinctions.

In situations where attempts at negotiation have failed, there are other options available. Some parents choose to work with a mediator who can resolve issues. Sometimes, the presence of a third party can help parents manage their emotions more effectively and come to a workable agreement. Finally, parents may wish to go to court and ask a judge to help settle the matter if mediation doesn't work and the situation escalates.

Parents who are experiencing conflict with a former spouse or partner may benefit from speaking with a family law attorney. The lawyer might be able to review the client's case and make recommendations regarding negotiating house rules, child custody and support payments.

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