Children may benefit from shorter divorce processes

California couples who get divorced need to make smart decisions about caring for their children and other affairs, but these processes aren't always quick. In some cases, parents who second-guess their decisions along the way or feel like they've become unsuccessful because their marriages didn't last may have trouble completing their divorces in a timely fashion. Divorces that stretch out over months or years often cause children and other family members to feel conflicted or troubled.

One psychoanalyst says children may react negatively to divorces and that delays can make these complex affairs harder to deal with emotionally. This may be due to the fact that children don't understand the precise status of their parents' relationships or because prolonging the divorce makes it more difficult to know where they fit in with what's happening.

Parties like outside family members can also contribute to negative outcomes by sharing their detailed thoughts about the proceedings or the character traits of the parents themselves. Factors like religious beliefs and social stances on divorces may cause parents to feel ashamed and send confusing signals to one another or to their children. It is important to let children understand that their parents still love them and that they will be taken care of.

Going through a divorce is a different experience for everyone. Many parents who split have agreements that divide custodial responsibilities in a fashion that lets both parties play roles in their children's lives. While court-ordered remedies, like child support and alimony payments, can alleviate some tensions, it's important to take a proactive role in divorce planning to determine how these tools function.

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