Divorce is difficult enough in itself. When children are thrown into the mix, it can make the situation even more challenging. If you and your ex have decided to share custody of your children, you may be nervous about some of the obstacles you’ll face in the future. While joint custody isn’t always easy, it can be successful. Here are some tips for sharing custody with your ex.
Choose a Schedule and Stick to It
If you and your ex are sharing custody of your kids, one of the first things you have to do is choose a schedule that everyone agrees to. For example, you could have your children from Monday through Thursday while your ex has them Friday through Sunday. Whatever schedule you choose, make sure to stick to it. Consistency is important for children, especially if they’re dealing with the aftermath of a divorce.
Keep Negative Opinions to Yourself
After a divorce, it’s not uncommon to have ill feelings toward your ex. However, that doesn’t mean you should share these feelings with your kids. Your ex might have been a bad partner, but that doesn’t mean he or she is a bad parent. You don’t want your negative feelings toward your ex to influence how your kids feel about him or her.
Don’t Make Your Kids Feel Guilty for Spending Time With the Other Parent
There may be times when one parent sees the children more than the other parent. For example, your ex may take the kids on a vacation for an entire week. When this happens, you should never make your kids feel guilty. Just because they spent more time with the other parent one week, doesn’t mean they love you any less.
Maintain Regular Communication With Your Ex
The thought of communicating with your ex may be daunting, especially if you left things on bad terms. However, it’s still important to maintain regular communication with your ex for the sake of your kids. For instance, if you notice that your child has been acting out at home or school, you should talk about it with your ex.
Make Decisions as a Team
When dealing with important issues that involve your children, such as medical care or schooling, it’s important to make decisions together. For example, if you think it would be best to send your kids to private school, you discuss it with the other parent first.