Joint Custody Is the Best Option, But It’s Hard Work

There’s a lot that’s been written about how the best case for children is for a family to stay together, and this may in some circumstances be true. I don’t see enough written, though, about the best option when the parents can’t get along, and that is joint custody.

Joint custody involves parents getting divorced but both parents remaining a constant presence in their children’s lives. How families split up time and major life decisions depends on each individual family, but the main point is that this is the best option out there when the parents simply can’t stay together.

Joint custody, however, is hard work. To make it work, you may need some advice to navigate the trickier elements of the process. So, here are a few tips to keep in mind while you prepare for your new life as joint custody parents.

Agree to put the kids first

You probably intend to do this anyway, but don’t leave it as an assumption. Verbalize this intention and get both parties to agree. Saying it out loud can help clarify the most important part of your divorce process.

Consider a lawyer for your divorce

As the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield point out, divorce is an emotional process, even when both parties are in general agreement about it. When it comes to custody, you really don’t want your emotions to take over (as we’ll see below). A lawyer can remove you and your emotional hurt from the equation and help settle the process more quickly and painlessly.

Try to find the schedule that works best for all parties

This is one of the reasons you don’t want emotions involved in this process. It can be very annoying to have to continue to accommodate your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s schedule and needs, but it’s crucial if you want to keep your kids comfortable and make sure they grow up in the best environment.

Don’t punish your spouse with custody

Again, emotions come into play here. It’s normal to want to hurt those who have hurt you, but you simply can’t let that emotion become dominant when trying to organize joint custody. You have to think of your children’s needs first, or else, get a lawyer that can do that for you.

Make the most of your time

Once a custody schedule is organized and the divorce goes through, you’ll need to make some major adjustments in life. One of those will be to make the most of the time you have with your kids. When you are all living together, it’s easy to let this focus slip by. Once you only have certain days or blocks of time with your kids, you have to make sure they always come first so they get the most from their time with you.

If you can stick to these steps, you’ll be able to provide a loving and positive family environment with both parents taking active roles in how the children grow up. When keeping the family together isn’t a good option anymore, joint custody is the best option out there, if you can make it work.

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