Parenting can be to navigate no matter if you’re doing it solo or with a partner. But with a divorce and joint custody, you’ll find a different set of obstacles to overcome. With the right mindset, some restraint and acting as a team player, you can make your joint custody and co-parenting tips a success. The following are tips for an amicable custody arrangement.
Make Your Kids a Priority
When you’re children are sick with a cold or flu, you probably do everything in your power to make them well. Divorce is especially hard on children, so you want to give them additional TLC throughout this difficult time. Although you may be feeling guilty for breaking up the family, refrain from buying their love. You can still make your kids a priority without having to break the bank. Schedule dinners together with your kids and encourage them to talk and share their feelings. Take time out of your busy day to watch their baseball game or cheerleading practice.
Enlist the Help of a Professional
Although your soon-to-be ex-spouse may say they’re agreeable to an amicable divorce, the process can still be complicated and messy. A skilled attorney will be able to navigate the murky waters of divorce swiftly and with an expert eye. They’ll also be able to provide guidance on custody and alimony issues pertaining to your particular state.
Keep Your Negative Thoughts to Yourself
Just because you and your ex failed at marriage doesn’t make them a poor parent. If you’ve agreed to share custody, it’s time to put your differences aside. This means biting your tongue and keeping your negative thoughts about your ex to yourself. You don’t want your kids to feel like they have to choose one parent over the other. Discussions should be kept between both parties and not asking your children to be responsible for delivering messages. Your kids should be able to have a healthy and loving relationship with both parents without feeling guilty. If you need to voice your concerns, ask a friend, parent, loved one or therapist to lend an ear.
No matter what the reasons behind your divorce, you may want to look at the relationship afterward as a business dealing. The lines of communication should be kept open in order to successful raise your kids. If you haven’t graduated to face-to-face communication yet, emails or text messages can work just fine. You could also keep in touch via telephone. Instead of arguing, try to keep the focus on your children and what’s best for them.
Set a Schedule
An attorney can help you hash out a shared schedule for your custody situation if you’re having difficulties. But once you’ve chosen a particular schedule, you need to stick with it. Keeping things consistent is important for both child and adult. An online calendar can allow you to share important information, dates and times to ensure that you both stay on task. If you have something come up, you can contact your ex-partner to see if they can adjust the original schedule.
Be a Team Player
Working through your issues can be difficult with an ex-spouse, especially if the divorce is bitter. But when it comes to the bigger issues such as discipline, studies, medical care and schooling, you need to be team players. The rules and consequences for breaking them should be the same in either home. You should also enforce the punishments if a child breaks the rules. Although you may not agree about everything, pick your battles and compromises in situations where it may be necessary.