If you are going through a divorce or child custody dispute, one of your main goals should be to shield your children from the conflict between their parents, especially with regard to parenting issues.
Thankfully, there are a number of ways to keep your kids “out of the courtroom” physically.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to resolve your case outside of court. There are numerous resources that allow — and even encourage — parents to resolve disputes outside of court or even through the mediation process that is part of the family court. In fact, many (if not most) people in California make their own custody arrangements without judges deciding or without any court ordered mediation.
Another way to keep your kids out of the courtroom is to minimize the legal disputes that arise after a parenting plan is in place. This can be accomplished by each parent complying with and respecting the parenting plan agreed to/ordered by the court. Be familiar with all aspects of the plan, especially holidays and vacations. Be sure to avoid scheduling event with/for the child during the other one’s parenting time. Provide sufficient notice, where required, and appropriate, of your travel/vacation plans with information as to where the child will be, etc. In other words give the other parent the same level of consideration and cooperation you want as a parent.
Finally, you and the other parent of your child can agree to communicate about various decisions for your child. The more decisions you can make between yourselves, the less a judge will be required to intervene.
Basically speaking, the best way to protect your kids from the potential ugliness and stress of family court is to do whatever you can to avoid having to go there yourself. Working with the other parent, sticking to a parenting plan while being flexible for legitimate emergencies on both sides and making decisions for your child together can all be ways to do this.
Unfortunately, there are times when you cannot resolve a difficult matter on your own and you must go to court. This doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience if you are prepared and have legal support to guide you through the situation.
Whether you are able to work out custody and parenting matters on your own or the courts are involved, it can be crucial that you have legal guidance. A family law attorney can help you work through all these issues in or out of court.