Sharing custody isn’t always easy. That’s especially true if you’re new to a custody sharing arrangement. It does take some time, but having some useful advice from an Orlando child custody attorney on hand can make a difference. Try these tips to make sharing custody and co-parenting easier.
Tips For Those Sharing Custody of Your Children
Work on Communication
If you and your former spouse didn’t part on good terms, this can be a challenge. However, keeping clear and cordial communication can make all the difference when you share custody.
You don’t need to be overly friendly, but you do need to make an effort. You may choose to have set times to discuss visits or parenting decisions, or keep an open line of communication. If you struggle to keep emotions out of the conversation, try to think of this communication as a respectful but necessary business conversation.
Let Children be Children
Children don’t need to know all the complex details about your separation. In fact, it’s just not right to make kids take on the burden of your separation, even if it is unintentional. The only concern the children should have is when they get to see each parent. If you and the other parent are having trouble, keep it between the adults and away from the kids.
Remember, your children don’t see your ex partner the way you do, and they don’t need to. If you’re upset with your ex or have negative opinions, rant to one of your peers, not one of your children.
Keep it About the Kids
It can be hard to get past old feelings or hurt, but leave that out of your conversations. Bringing up old issues can further stoke resentment and make it difficult to communicate with the childrens’ needs at the forefront.
Keep personal information out of your conversations and make sure communications are ‘kid centered.’ Remember, digressing into personal issues takes away valuable time that both you and the other parent can spend in better ways (i.e. with your children or doing something for them).
Don’t Let Frustration Take Over
Co-parenting isn’t a smooth, step by step formula. You might have personality clashes, differences in opinion, and old disputes. When these come up, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and start feeling serious stress.
It’s inevitable that something will come up to provoke these emotions at some point. However, the way in which you handle it makes all the difference. Invest some time into stress management techniques that you can use when the time comes.
Sharing custody is based around a schedule. However, that schedule doesn’t need to be set in stone. If your ex partner has a special family event planned, or another kid-centered experience in mind, try to keep an open mind.
Remember, allowing your kids to have a great relationship with both parents is what really matters. If it’s a short amount of time, give your ex the courtesy of that extra time so you can get the same in turn. If the activity takes longer, work out a deal to keep the kids for longer another time.
Learn to be a Team
Co-parenting isn’t just being civil to one another. To be really successful, you should try to cultivate a ‘parenting team’ sort of relationship with your ex.
Think of how kids often ask one parent for something. The first parent says no, so the kids ask the other parent that they know will say yes. This is confusing for children, and leads to issues understanding the rules. Try to create a cohesive parenting plan that works for everyone.
Sharing custody is not easy, especially right after a separation. There’s a lot to learn along the way, and there’s no ‘one size fits all’ guide. However, these tried and proven tips can help you and your ex when starting to coparent.