Sometimes divorces in California lead to child custody disputes, and things can get downright ugly. There are tons of things to remember about parenting during these battles and after they’re over, but here are just a few basic rules you should remember.

Scheduling May be Difficult

If you’ve settled with joint custody and have agreed to share your children 50/50 between both new households, you might be in for quite the whirlwind of a journey. This can disrupt the child’s stability and may make it difficult for them to attend school and keep their friends. Keep in mind that this isn’t always in the best interest for the kids, and that you should be flexible with scheduling. Sometimes a week-to-weekend ratio is better for the children.

Don’t Shut Down Lines of Communication

Just because you and your ex are divorced doesn’t mean that you should stop talking to one another. Anger and upset aside, there are still children involved, and it’s your job to make sure you’re both on the same page when it comes to parenting them consistently. Make sure you talk to your child about the changes that are happening so he or she can feel secure and so that you and your ex can stand united as parents, even though you now live separate lives.

Above All, Stay Friendly

There might be some bad emotions between you and your ex, but your kids don’t need to know all of that. There shouldn’t be any insult slinging or intentionally cruel statements made in front of the children. This will only serve to make this new arrangement unpleasant for all, and no one really wants that. At least while the wounds are fresh, keep it civil. With time, you may eventually be able to be friendly with one another without harboring those past negative emotions.