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Evaluate your parenting plan during and after divorce

Divorce is a time of transformation, but you have to be sure that you are making the best changes for your life. If you have children, you need to think about how the changes will impact them. Your parenting style is one area that might transition during this process, so keep a close eye on what's going on.

When your marriage breaks up, you need to evaluate your parenting style to determine what you want to keep and what you want to change. Once you know this, you have to make a plan to move toward that new style.

Communication with your children

Taking the time to talk to your children about what they think they need and want can help you to figure out how to adjust your parenting style. If your children are old enough to understand, you might consider asking them what they feel you need to change about how you parent. Choosing to do this might produce a difficult conversation. Your children may feel like they can't be wholly honest with you, so you will have to assure them that they aren't going to get into trouble for letting you know what they feel. This can be a good time to bring up how to speak respectfully when you are providing constructive criticism.

Setting the rules

Since you are the only adult in your home, you need to set the rules that you feel are necessary. While these might mirror the ones that you had with your ex, they don't have to be exactly the same. Just make sure that you let your children know exactly what you expect and what rewards or penalties are attached. If there are major changes to the rules, you need to help them adjust.

Reevaluate often

Review your parenting style periodically to determine whether it is still working for your situation. You may find that certain aspects have to evolve as your children grow up. Being willing and able to do this can help strengthen your relationship with them. Remember that your ultimate goal is that you are going to raise happy, healthy and well-adjusted children who can thrive despite the negative things that life throws at them.

Take a look at your parenting plan to ensure that you aren't doing anything that goes against the terms of that document. You may come to realize that there are points that need to be modified, which is possible in California if the case meets certain criteria.

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