5 Tips for Effective Joint Custody

5 tips for joint custody divorce with children

Joint custody can be a difficult ordeal for both parents and children.  The first thing to know is that there are two types of joint custody, physical and legal.  Joint physical custody means that the child will spend time with both parents based on a predetermined schedule that both parties agree to and it involves shared expenses in raising the child.  Joint legal custody means that both parents can make decisions for the child, but should consult each other when possible.  The child will spend most of the time with one parent over the other, but will be allowed to visit with the other parent occasionally.  It is usually ordered in cases where it is better for the parents and children psychologically.

In order to make joint custody work, parents can do a few things.

  1. The children must always come first
    It is important for both parents to put the needs of their children before their own needs.  You must understand the realities of parenting and be sure to remember that your children’s needs are of higher importance than convenience for you.
  2. Communication
    You will need to communicate with your child often and allow them to speak freely with you.  It is important to communicate with your partner concerning legal, disciplinary and emotional actions.
  3. Show interest
    Showing interest in your children’s schoolwork, extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests is important to their development.  Many parents who go through a divorce tend to delegate certain roles to each parent, but sharing the roles equally is more beneficial to the child.
  4. No trash talk
    No matter how you feel about your ex-spouse, you must never speak ill of them.  Whether you are a mother or a father, you need to respect your ex in front of your children because even though you are not together, the child still loves both of you. Negative words about your spouse can ruin your relationship with your child or your child’s relationship with your ex.
  5. Avoid serious relationships
    While this may be hard for men and women who have just gotten a divorce, it is important to stay away from serious relationships.  The reason for this is that your child may interpret that as your loss of love for them.  It is important to remember that your primary obligation is helping your child to feel loved and safe.

ConclusionWhile joint custody can be a very tough battle, you have to remember that your child’s future is at stake.  You need to work with your partner to be a good parent and avoid selfish actions.  It will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but the result will be a content and happy child, which is the most important thing.