4 Tips For Making Joint Custody Work

A divorce can be very difficult on the spouses involved, and children can also suffer if the parents do not make it a point to work together for the benefit of the kids. Just because a marriage did not work, it doesn't mean that two people can't be effective co-parents who put the needs of their children above any personal issues they have with each other. Use the following tips to ensure successful joint custody after a divorce:

Make Sure that Your Custody Agreement is Comprehensive

One of the easiest ways to ensure that joint custody works well for your family is by creating a detailed child custody agreement during the divorce proceedings. Your divorce lawyer or family law attorney can assist you and work with your spouse and his or her lawyer to come up with a joint custody agreement that is fair to both parents and makes the children's best interest a priority. Contact a local attorney, such as Nancy Bunting, if you need help. A joint custody agreement should specifically outline exactly how much time the children will spend with each parents, including a schedule for holidays. If you have a comprehensive custody agreement, there are likely to be fewer arguments between parents.

Agree Not to Speak Badly About Each Other

Whether you and your spouse are going through an amicable divorce or every step is a battle, one important thing to agree on is not bad mouthing each other in front of the children. No matter how you and your spouse feel about each other, your children love both of you and need your love and support after a divorce. Getting into a comfortable joint custody schedule will be much easier if the kids don't have to hear either parent talk bad about the other. In addition, refrain from putting your child in the middle; after the divorce neither you nor your spouse should try to question the children about what the other is doing.

Make Communication a Priority

While you and your spouse will no longer be married after your divorce finalizes, you will still have to communicate for the sake of your children. Open communication will keep both parents informed of school events, sporting events, doctors appointments, or any other situation involving the kids. If you and your spouse are not on good enough terms to speak on the phone, you can utilize email, text messages, or online calendars to communicate what is going on with the children. 

Choose Your Battles Carefully

One of the challenges of joint custody is different parenting styles. Your children may have a different schedule or different rules during their time with your spouse. If your children are happy and healthy, try to accept that their lives may be different when they are not with you. It is in your best interest to choose your battles carefully, and make sure they involve serious issues. Fighting between you and your spouse after a divorce is not healthy for the kids, and it isn't emotionally healthy for you either.