When you’re going through a divorce, a family law attorney will focus on helping you and your ex determine custody of your children. For most parents, this is a difficult decision, as neither of you want to give up control of the children you love more than anything in the world. For some parents, opting for joint custody is the best way to ensure both parents have an equal role in the children’s lives. In order to make your joint custody agreement work, it’s a good idea for you and your ex to follow these rules.
Keep your mouth shut.
No matter what type of feelings you may have for your ex, it’s very important you keep these feelings away from your children. After all, they are not at fault for your divorce, and you don’t want to put them in the middle of it. Be sure that both of you only talk pleasantly about the other parent in front of the children. You need to remember they are still your children’s parent, and you cannot take that away from your child or try to sway them in any way.
Make smart scheduling decisions.
Although you want to spend as much time with your children as possible, you need to make smart scheduling decisions. For instance, if you work a full-time job, you don’t want to demand your child be with you when you’d have to find a sitter. Work it out with your ex so that you spend equal time with your children that is conducive to both your schedules. Doing this will ensure the time you have with your children is time YOU can actually spend with them.
Even if you have hard feelings for your ex, you want to be sure you communicate effectively with your ex. Be sure to have an organized calendar that spells out the joint custody agreement so you know where the children should be and when. In addition, make sure you find the best way to communicate with one another when you have to, whether it’s via the phone or text. When both of you are on the same page, you’ll eliminate the need to argue.
As your children get older, their schedules and activities will become busier, and it’s important for you and your ex to share information. For instance, if your child plays a sport, you’ll want to be sure both parents have access to schedules and team communications, so have each of you sign up for team emails or put both contact phone numbers down. This way, you can both take responsibility into your own hands and don’t have to rely on the other parent to provide you with information.
Make adjustments if necessary.
Although most joint parenting agreements are legally binding contracts, it doesn’t mean they can’t be altered. Things change over time, whether it’s your own schedule or your child’s needs or schedule. Make it a rule to meet every year and determine if changes need to be made to the agreement. If so, talk to your family lawyer to legally make the changes necessary so you and your ex have a resource for your parenting agreement.
Joint parenting is a great way to ensure your divorce still gives your child the most time with both parents. By following these rules, you and your ex will have a joint parenting agreement that benefits both of you as well as your children.