There are not many things as contentious as child custody during the divorce process. Even in the best of circumstances, the thought of having restricted access to your children can be unsettling, to say the least. This explains why more and more divorcing couples are opting for joint custody.
Joint or shared custody is an arrangement where divorced or separated parents share their children’s decision-making responsibilities. Joint custody offers immense benefits to the parents and the children in question. However, like any other custody arrangement, joint custody does have its share of challenges.
Here are two things you can do to have a successful joint custody arrangement.
Put kids first
It is important to acknowledge from the onset that divorce has everything to do with you and your ex and nothing to do with your children. As such, it is imperative that you keep your child’s best interests ahead of your own. And part of putting your kids’ best interest first involves avoiding situations where you get the kids to side with one parent over the other. A good rule of thumb would be to avoid speaking ill of your ex in front of your children or using them as pawns in your conflicts. Always assure your children of both parents’ unwavering love and commitment to be there for them at all times.
Life is all about giving and taking. To effectively co-parent your children with your ex, it is important that you learn to make certain concessions. Flexibility also means that you need to be open to reviewing custody schedules. For instance, if one parent plans to travel (when they should be caring for the kids), the other should have no problem taking the kids in.
Life after divorce can be difficult, especially for the kids who have to adjust to a new household arrangement. However, an effective co-parenting plan can help the children adjust to the “new normal” without losing a sense of security or taking the blame for their parents’ divorce.