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California parents have plenty to worry about during divorce, which can lead to serious tensions. From figuring out property division to settling on the right amount for child support, there are plenty of opportunities for emotional turmoil to take control. When issues are bad enough, some parents may even begin to question whether they are making the right choices regarding child custody. While it is normal to worry about children’s well-being, evidence demonstrates that children still fare well when their parents’ co-parenting relationship is not wholly cooperative.

Researchers looked at approximately 400 divorced parents who were co-parenting at least one child between the ages of 10 and 18. Researchers expected to find that children whose parents effectively co-parented with one another not only fared better emotionally, but also had more stable relationships with their parents. Factors in stable parent-child relationships included parental knowledge of things like the child’s daily schedule.

What researchers discovered was that even parents who could not effectively co-parent with ex spouses still maintained good relationships with their children. These parents were more aware of their children, their children’s friends and more than parents who were not involved in co-parenting at all. The results came as a surprise to those conducting the study, as they had expected to discover that ineffective co-parenting relationships also negatively impacted children.

Some California parents might eschew the idea of co-parenting out of concern for their children. After all, it can be a lot to expect to maintain a civil relationship after going through the emotional turmoil of divorce. However, these results indicate that parents do not have to make unnecessary concessions in child custody arrangements, as even tumultuous co-parenting relationships can benefit children.