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How should I talk to kids about divorce?

One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is telling your kids about the decision. Children often have a difficult time coping with the news, and it's important to make them feel loved and comforted when informing them of your split. Parents Magazine recommends the following tips when having this talk with your children. 

Divorce, stepchildren and child custody

Parents who are going through a divorce may be dealing with various stressors, from financial concerns as a result of property division or child support to emotional worries regarding their children’s interests and their ability to spend time with their kids. For some parents, such as those who have recently adopted a child or have stepchildren, divorce can be especially concerning due to the custody process. If a bitter dispute arises, stepparents may worry that they will not have the ability to maintain a relationship with their stepchildren, and they may have uncertainty regarding other facets of family law (such as child support payments).

Joint-parenting may be beneficial for children

Going through a divorce can be a difficult process, especially if there are children involved. With strong emotions, it can be hard to determine who is entitled to what, the rate of alimony and child support, as well as who should be given custody of the children. In California, and in other states across the country, custody is awarded keeping the best interests of the child in mind. Sole-physical custody was traditionally thought to be advantageous for children, as they did not have to live between homes. However, studies show that joint-custody may be a better option, as the children are able to spend a significant amount of time with both parents.

How do I establish paternity?

For fathers, one of the most important steps to take after you have a child is establishing paternity. Doing this gives you legal parental rights to the child in California. Without these legal rights, you have no say in the raising of the child. The mother has full custody and control over the child. So, it is easy to see why you would want to find out how to establish paternity as soon as possible.

How should I raise my child as a single parent?

If you’ve recently gone through a divorce in Los Angeles, you may be faced with raising your child alone. While it’s possible to rear your child in a kind and loving manner on your own, many single parents are faced with a wide array of challenges. In this case, the Mayo Clinic offers the following parenting tips for people with sole custody of their children.

Modifying a child custody agreement

Oftentimes, the outcome of child custody proceedings in Los Angeles will be unsatisfactory for one (or potentially both) parties involved. It is important to remember, however, that initial custody rulings are not always final; the potential does exist to have a custody order modified. In fact, the court will often order a review of a custody agreement every 2-3 years to ensure that it still fits a divorced couple's circumstances. Yet what about those who would like to have their custody agreements modified in between those periodic reviews? 

What expenses can child support payments be used for?

Divorcing parents in Los Angeles will still need to raise and provide for their child, and usually joint provision is the best way to go about this. More often than not, this involves child support payments of some sort. Not only can it be difficult to determine what those payments should be, but it can also be hard to decide what they should be used for.

Can you move away with your kids?

A major part of getting through your divorce is moving on in your life with your ex-spouse no longer being a part of it. That may mean moving away from Los Angeles to find a new job, be closer to family or just pursue new opportunities. Yet how are you able to do that if you and your ex have children together? 

Does a history of violence disqualify you from child custody?

In deciding on a child custody arrangement, the court always considers first and foremost what is in the best interest of the child. The court wants to do everything possible to ensure that children of divorce live in safe and loving environments. Therefore, if either parent has a history of domestic abuse, the court takes this seriously.

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