Divorce From Your Spouse, Not Your Kids
When one parent has sole custody, the other parent often feels powerless and removed from their kids. It's a painful adjustment that some parents deal with by avoiding the legalities of schedule visitation.
Don't let the non-custodial parent slowly fade out of the picture.
Some parents avoid the responsibility of parenthood altogether, but most absentee parents' behavior comes from resenting "visitation" time. While one parent has no responsibility and plenty of free time, the other parent feels all the responsibility and has no free time. This creates a difficult dynamic between the parents once again.
When this happens, the parent with sole custody may begin to distrust the other and not encourage involvement with the kids despite the legal agreement. This isn't the right approach, and children deserve much needed time with both parents.
Don't let the non-custodial parent slowly fade out of the picture. Whether temporary or long term, this absence is difficult on the children.
Empower the other parent to be active and follow the legal agreement. Make it easier by setting aside your anger and not directing your former spouse's parenting. Let him or her do the job they can do on their own by encouraging frequent and continued contact with the children.
If you disagree with your former spouse's habits or way of doing things, keeping your kids from that parent may not necessarily prevent them from picking up those habits. Unless the habit or character trait you are concerned about really presents a danger to the children, set a good example and trust your former spouse and kids to do the right thing too.
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California Divorce Guide