Plenty of people divorce each day in the United States. The ramifications of the divorces vary, however, as who feels impacted by the separation depends on who exists in the picture of the family. For example, when two people divorce without any children in the picture, the pressures of interacting with one another receive little consideration in the process. However, when children exist as part of the consideration during divorce proceedings, the entire basis of the divorce changes. At that point the divorce becomes primarily about doing what is best for the children. The majority of the time, the decision reached is co-parenting, or a joint custody agreement.
However, that is not as simple as it sounds. Co-parenting means working with the person you only recently divorced in raising your children. While yes, you did once love each other enough to get married, divorces usually demand time and separation in order to heal the wounds. A great concern in co-parenting and joint custody agreements is how the parties involved will be able to work together to make it work. Not only for the children, but also for the parties themselves. Joint custody agreements must not cause you great worry.
Tips for Co-Parenting After a Divorce: Making Joint Custody Work
Ensure The Agreement Satisfies Both Parties
Once an agreement has been reached regarding the children, it is essential that that agreement pleases both parties. While divorces do not typically make those involved feel happy or calm, when dealing with children there must be a mutual understanding that dealing with each other for the children’s sake is key. Whatever agreement is reached between the two parties must satisfy both. If one party believes themselves wronged in the proceedings, it likely becomes apparent over time. Lingering resentment and disagreements revolving around the separation only bring further stress to all involved. You worked out a child support agreement for a reason. The deal was signed off on by both parties for a reason. Remembering this remains vital in avoiding stressful arguments and disagreements.
Remember, It’s About The Children
While the divorce was a decision made to better your lives, the children’s lives remain of the utmost importance. Once a joint custody agreement is reached, the children must be the priority from there. Divorces often cause emotional trauma to children. Children deserve calm and careful treatment to ensure they do not suffer from the arrangement. Additionally, treating each other with respect will show the children that everything remains alright. One recipe for disaster is looking at the children as prizes up for battle between the two of you. A joint custody agreement means you work together to raise the children. It is not a battle, but instead a treaty.
Work Out the Finer Details
One major step forward worth taking is planning ahead. Perhaps one party knows they go out for drinks every Thursday night. Making that known to the other party ensures that no argument arises regarding who will take care of the children. Through the law, working out specific nights for specific parents works tremendously as well. Perhaps an agreement where the Mother watches the children on weekdays and the Father does so on weekends. Another possibility is the Father gets a specific four days a week and the Mother gets a specific three. Children thrive off of schedules and understanding where they are at with each parent. Thus, when parents put together schedules that do not change, children can follow along and feel safe. Once again, this can even be done during the discussions for custody. Joint custody may spell out the agreement including times and details.
Keep Your Children Out Of Your Legal Troubles
Divorces may not always go as smoothly as intended. Perhaps a car is up for grabs in the legal proceedings. Even the house could be part of the argument between two spouses. Once a joint custody agreement has been reached, you are committing to optimally raising your kids together. Together is the key word. Though you may wish for your children to see the error of your spouse’s ways, that goes against the entire agreement. The agreement is made in order to ensure your children are not part of the fallout from the divorce. While further arguments remain understandable, what is unacceptable is involving the children. Agreeing upon splitting time with them means agreeing upon doing what’s best for them. Though you may feel spending time with you rather than your spouse will work best for them, a legal agreement states a split.
Unresolved issues receive attention without the kids’ involvement. This factor works to prevent the kids from feeling like they are pawns in a larger game. It also prevents damage from their parents fighting in front of them. Remember, your kids already went through seeing their parents divorce. A joint custody works to limit the damage. Fighting for more in front of the kids only negates that. Treating each other well in front of the children goes a long way towards their happiness. That’s what’s key.