Rules to Abide By When Sharing Custody After Divorce
Rules to Abide by When Sharing Custody After Divorce
During your divorce settlement, the topic of child custody was likely a high priority for you and your former spouse. If the court decided you each were to be awarded joint custody, then you now must share the responsibility of making important decisions in the welfare of your children. Here we have covered four rules that hopefully you both can agree upon when having to work together after divorce to raise your kids. The rules below are intended to help make this transition to co-parenting together an easier process, for parents and children alike.
Rule #1: Always Allow Your Children to Feel Heard
Just like you, your children can experience many changes during and after the divorce. Allow your kids to express their feelings and answer any questions they may have about what is going to happen and why. By encouraging your children to talk about emotions and confusions, it can increase their sense of control during this time. Children that feel they are heard can be more agreeable during the frequent changes of a visitation schedule.
Rule #2: Do Not Fight Every Single Battle
Parenting can be challenging enough, so having to co-parent with your former spouse can make things even more complex. Prevent conflicts as often as you can by establishing open communication. When there are differences in opinion, ask yourself if the battle is truly worth fighting over. Remind yourself and your ex that if the disagreement must go to court, it is unlikely either of you will be happy with the decision. Save the topics that are most important, like healthcare and education, for dispute in court. Otherwise, it may be best to let the little things go.
Rule #3: Find a Way to Communicate Effectively
Depending on how the marriage ended, having to communicate with your former spouse can feel awful and frustrating. In order for joint custody to work, you must find a way to communicate with each other in a peaceful and cordial way. To help retain your sanity and for the benefit of your children, find a method of conversation that works for both of you. If talking directly on the phone is too much, you can opt for online methods or through typed words. You can use texting, email or online calendars to send messages to your ex quickly and hopefully painlessly.
Rule #4: Do Not Assume Your Ex Will Be a Bad Parent
Just because your former spouse may have been a horrible husband or wife, that does not mean they will be a careless parent. Unless you are concerned about abuse or neglect, then you must give your ex the benefit of the doubt. He or she may prove to be a very supportive, loving and cooperative co-parent. The marriage may not have gone as planned, but parenting together can still be successful. Try to remain optimistic and remember that the only other person who likely loves your children as much as you do, is your former spouse.
Always work with an experienced attorney, if in the Phoenix area, talk to someone such as the divorce attorney Phoenix AZ locals turn to.
Thanks to authors at Hildebrand Law office for their insight into Family Law.