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Many ex-spouses in California have difficulty agreeing on issues related to child custody. While most parents want what is best for the children, it can sometimes be difficult to know what is actually best for them. The first question parents considering divorce might ask themselves is whether a divorce itself could be harmful to their kids. One child psychologist says that the answer depends on the state of the marriage and life at home.

Conflict between parents could be more upsetting to a child than a divorce. Ending the marriage could remove the conflict from the child’s life and end up being a positive solution in the long run.

Changes that inevitably come with divorce, like one parent moving out or the child moving with one parent to another home, can be stressful. That’s why parents are advised to keep changes to a minimum as much as possible. Allowing children to have a say in matters that impact their lives directly can help as well.

Kids often blame themselves for a divorce. Parents could bring this subject up and assure the children that it’s not their fault. However, it’s advised that putting blame on the other parent is a bad idea. An ex should not try to negatively influence the child’s opinion of the other parent.

When child custody decisions end up in court, judges tend to take a dim view of a parent who bad-mouths the other parent without good reason. “Good reason” could be limited to situations where there is evidence of child abuse or something else that actually puts the child in danger. A family law attorney can help a parent navigate various custody-related legal issues.