Last month our blog offered a few tips on how to make joint custody work. This month we have a few more tips to share. At Rappleye & Rappleye, P.C. Jackson, MI working family issues out is our mission, especially divorce issues. When a family unit is breaking, it’s important to try and keep the peace, especially when children are involved and you both have equal parenting time. Here are a few more things to keep in mind.
A bad marriage doesn’t mean bad parenting
You and your ex may have failed at marriage but that doesn’t mean either of you has failed at parenting. In other words, a bad spouse doesn’t equal a bad parent. It is so important for children of divorce to have both parents in their lives continuously, meaning being in contact with both all the time. Your parenting can still succeed by putting your children’s well-being first and leaving your ill feelings towards your ex behind. Try and remember that your ex loves your child as much as you do so give them a chance to be a good parent.
Consider the conflict
In other words, pick your battles! When disagreements arise between you and your ex, consider if it’s worth fighting over.
Co-parenting can be difficult especially when you don’t see eye to eye.
School choices, parenting time and vacations are worth the fight. What your ex chooses to feed the kids or how much screen time they allow them to have probably isn’t. Try and be as rational as possible and think about if you really want a judge to decide the outcome of your battle. Open communication with your ex really helps, if you can keep your cool and remember what’s really worth fighting for.
Your child has a voice
Children feel very confused and uncertain during a divorce. This is due, of course, to so much change. Allow your child to express their feelings, uncertainty and confusion about the divorce and the custody arrangement. Children need to be acknowledged and given the chance to provide some of their input during the process. Recognizing what they have to say may give them a sense of control. Also, including them in decisions such as what toys to keep and bring to mom or dad’s can help with their feelings of no control. Allowing your pre-teen and teenagers help pick a schedule that works for them is also beneficial. Hearing and respecting your child’s voice is important to their well-being.
Adjust the custody arrangement as needed
Schedules change all the time. Work schedules, school schedules, sports and activities are all contributors. As your children grow, so should your custody arrangement. It’s helpful to review the arrangement and assess how its working for everyone from time to time. Make adjustments as circumstances change.
Making joint custody work benefits all parties involved. If you are struggling with custody or other family law issues, the divorce and family law attorneys at Rappleye & Rappleye, P.C. can help. We have been practicing family law for over 60 years and can help guide you through a very difficult time. Call us today!