Tips for Shared Custody Success
Divorcing when you have kids is never easy, especially when you share custody, but it doesn’t have to be a complete nightmare either. It is possible to divide up holiday, work out your schedules so they don’t clash, and even be civil to each other.
Are you struggling with shared custody right now? Here’s how to ensure your arrangement is a success:
Make it Legal
If you haven’t already, perhaps because you’re separated but not divorced, contacting a good family law lawyer like Wilson Browne to formalize your shared custody is never a bad idea. That way, you will be able to come to a fair agreement and have that agreement set ins tone, so that both parties know what is expected of them and what could happen if they go back on the deal.
When you’re finalising custody arrangements, it’s important that you are realistic about your schedule and how much time you can dedicate to the kids. If you try to grab more time with them than you can really commit to, you’ll end up disappointing the kids and peeving off your ex, and that could cause things to turn nasty.
Speak No Evil
Parenting experts like Sue Atkins will tell you that there is nothing worse that speaking smack about your ex when you have shared custody. Not only will it do untold damage to your children, who love the both of you, but you can bet that some of the stuff you say will get back to your ex. This could be enough for the game playing to start and the shared custody thing to become a nightmare. If you must vent, do it when your children aren’t around and to someone you completely trust not to repeat anything you’ve said.
Don’t Make it About You
The divorce might have been about you, but your custody arrangements are about what’s best for your kids and only what’s best for your kids. If you and your ex-partner can both remember that, then you’ll spend less time arguing over petty little things like being a few minutes late or canceling an appointment.
Don’t Engage in Tit for Tat
So, your ex has brought the kids home an hour late, and you’re fuming – it’s understandable- but he might have a good reason, and even if that isn’t the case, you shouldn’t then take revenge by doing the same or something equally petty when it’s his turn to have the kids. This could start a vicious circle which goes on and on and does nothing more than make everyone involved miserable.
Find a Way to Communicate
If there’s bad blood between you and your ex-partner, it’s important that you find a good way to communicate that doesn’t set tempers flaring and allows you both to keep it cordial. Using Google Calendars, so that you can jointly arrange your time is a good idea because it enables you to make plans without too much direct communication, but there are still going to be times when more communication is required, so work out whether email, SMS, direct communication or phone calls will be best for you.
If you can do all of the above, your shared custody is a lot more likely to succeed, especially if you can get your ex on board with these suggestions too.