Family Court Services – Children and Divorce Print this Page
Phone: (415) 444-7090
Location: Civic Center, Hall of Justice, Room 113
Office Hours: 8:00am - 4:00pm

Awareness of a Child’s Needs

During a Divorce

  • A child needs to be reassured of the love of both parents;
  • A child needs release from guilt and responsibility over parents' separation;
  • A child's feelings and experiences need to be accepted as being different than parents';
  • A child needs protection from conflict between parents.

Some Important Considerations

  • Children need to be emotionally and physically safe from parental conflict;
  • All children need consistency and stability from both parents;
  • Children need relationships with both parents;
  • Children fare better if they know they will be spending time with each parent;
  • Children of all ages who witness family violence of any kind are emotionally traumatized;
  • Parents and children experience a great sense of loss when they live apart;
  • Parents and children usually need emotional support and guidance through the process of divorce, separation or establishing separate households;
  • Parents need to move from an intimate to a more formal, business-like relationship;
  • A child-sharing plan must take into consideration the age and emotional stage of development of each child;
  • Parents who cooperate in developing a parenting plan are less likely to need future court involvement and are generally happier with the outcome.


California law requires parents who are unable to agree on a child-sharing plan to attend child custody recommending counseling before a court hearing to try to reach agreement.

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