5 Ways to Make Divorce Joint Custody Arrangements Work
Divorce is hard enough, but when there are children involved, things become exponentially more complicated. Kids can feel like their world is falling apart and in some cases, may even think the divorce is their fault. If you and your spouse share joint custody, it’s important to ensure that the two of you make things as easy as possible for your kids.
Divorce joint custody arrangements will mean that the two of you will have to communicate and coordinate with each other. When the sting of divorce is still fresh, your ex is probably the last person you want to see. To make sure this arrangement stays as smooth as possible, here are five ways to make that happen.
1. Don’t Talk Poorly About Your Ex
One of the top rules when sharing joint legal custody of your kids is to not speak poorly about your ex.
When you say bad things about them, and your children overhear, they internalize what you say. Since they are half you and your ex, the things you say will make them think something is wrong with them.
Your children still love your ex, and the things you say can damage their relationship with them.
2. Don’t Put Your Children in the Middle
There’s a good chance you’ll never lose all feelings of bitterness towards your ex. The key thing to remember is that these are your issues, not your children’s.
Don’t use your kids as messengers. If there’s something you need to say to your ex, call, text, or email.
3. Divorce Joint Custody Arrangements Require Open Dialogue
Making this arrangement work means that you and your ex need to communicate. This might entail conceding that the two of you meet in person every so often.
Any surprises or developments that occur in your lives need to be told to the other, especially if it impacts joint custody schedules. If one of your kids is having a problem, the two of you need to be on the same page about how you will address it.
4. Be Realistic About Your Schedule
When it comes to joint custody arrangements, parents often try to punish the other by filing for sole custody. Unless your ex has been neglectful or abusive towards your children, there’s no good reason to do this.
If your schedule is packed, you’re going to need help managing your kids’ schedules. The two of you still need to work as a team for your kids, so let them help you help your kids.
If you ever feel like your kids aren’t getting the attention and needs they deserve, a child custody modification is always an option.
5. Keep Rules Consistent Between Both Houses
One of the easiest ways to keep you and your ex on the same page is to have the same rules for your kids. That means bedtimes are consistent, as well as time for chores and homework.
For older kids, this means that they have the same curfew in both houses.
Work Together for Your Kids
The key to successful divorce joint custody arrangements is to remember that your kids come first. Any problems the two of you have with the other need to be set aside to maintain a united front. Communicate with each other, and keep things cordial in front of your kids.
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