As California parents consider parting ways to pursue different goals, the impact on their children can be varied. A prolonged divorce might occur as a couple second-guesses their decision or as they make some final attempts at reconciliation. While this could have a positive outcome in salvaging the marital relationship, a failed attempt to reconcile could prolong the inevitable at the expense of their children’s emotions. The needs of their children may help in deciding to wait to file or in choosing to move forward with the process.
Some of the issues that can cause one or both parties to backtrack after beginning divorce proceedings include a belief system that does not approve of divorce, advice from one’s family or friends, or fear of the future. However, an official start to a divorce action usually involves one of the spouses moving out, which can send a strong signal to children. Fluctuation in living arrangements could create confusion and insecurity as a child wonders what the future will be like. The children’s concentration may be significantly re-directed from normal activities as they worry about the state of their home life.
With the finalization of a divorce, a family can move into a new stage of life that includes more predictability. A child may spend weekends and holidays with different parents based on a visitation schedule, or there may be a joint physical custody agreement that enables a child to spend similar amounts of time in each home.
Counseling could be helpful for a parent going through divorce when seeking assistance in learning to handle disputes with the other party. Those parents who can communicate in a civil manner might avoid a great deal of stress through avenues such as mediation, which could help to minimize the probability of taking the matter to court.