Child Custody Articles - Florida Law
9 Ways to Help Make Joint Child Custody Work
Posted on July 31, 2018
Between juggling schedules, dividing holidays, and taking the kids back and forth to each parent's house, sharing child custody can be difficult. However, parents who are cooperative, respectful, and who can manage their emotions and agree on shared custody terms, are more successful in helping their children adjust to the changes.
If you and your ex-spouse find it difficult to agree on terms for joint custody, you may want to reach out to a divorce attorney who can assist you with a binding parenting schedule. Such a legal agreement will help to ensure both parents comply with the arrangement, making things less hard on the children.
Here are some other things that can contribute to successful joint custody:
- Putting the children first – Parents who divorce are often so tied up with what they're going through, that they forget to put their child's needs first. However, when working on the terms of joint custody, it's important to do what's best for the child.
- Keeping adult issues between adults – Children should never be pulled into the middle of adult situations or exposed to adult disagreements. Avoid discussing child support, or putting the blame on the other parent, and most importantly- never try to turn your child against your ex.
- Remembering that a bad spouse doesn't equal a lousy parent – Your ex may have done a lot of things that you think warrant your feelings towards them now. However, that doesn't mean they won't continue to be there for your child. It's always better for children to have frequent communication with both parents, so each parent should allow the other to continue to support and love your child.
- Finding a way to communicate – Communication is critical when it comes to making joint custody work. Many useful tools exist that allow you to interact efficiently and effectively, such as calendars, phones, emails, and texting. Take advantage of any resource that will help you both stay on track.
- Choosing your battles – While parenting is hard enough as it is, co-parenting with an ex can be even more complicated. When disagreements arise, decide whether or not the conflict is worth fighting over. And, while you may not agree with your ex's parenting style, you should try to let certain things go, unless of course your children are being exposed to a harmful situation. For the things that really do matter, a family law attorney can assist you so that serious situations can be handled correctly.
- Letting your child feel heard – It's easy for a child to feel lost and frustrated when dealing with the changes in their parent's divorce. Let your child express their feelings and concerns regarding the divorce and custody agreement. Children who have an input in the process (when appropriate) may be more open to the schedule changes.
- Making an agreement that reflects the best interest of your child – When making a joint custody agreement, consider things such as the children's ages, personalities, and your family schedule. Also, take into consideration each parent's career and current obligations, your children's extracurricular activities, childcare arrangements, and the distance between both parents homes. Then, try to choose a plan that will work best.
- Staying flexible – As we all know, life happens and plans often change. It's essential that you and your ex work together to handle unexpected changes in the best way possible.
- Refraining from speaking negatively about your ex to your child – No matter how angry you may be with your ex, it's never a good idea to talk badly about the other parent to your child. Not only can this cause issues for you in the future, but you are also creating more problems and stress for your child. Never be the reason your kid feels torn between both parents, and never make them feel like they have to choose one parent over the other.
When going through a divorce, it can be challenging to sort through all the different terms regarding custody, visitation, the division of property, and other family issues.
At The Roberts Family Law Firm, P.A., we understand that this can be a difficult time. Our knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorneys are here to help you as advocates for you and your children. Contact us today by calling (407) 426-6999 or by filling out the form provided on this page, and we will contact you shortly.
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