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Making joint custody work

Learning how to be a single parent following divorce can be difficult enough, but developing a new relationship with one’s ex-spouse in the process of sharing custody can be truly challenging. Families across the state of Texas confronting new child custody arrangements and issues have a number of practical and emotional factors to take into consideration at any given time. That is why it can be helpful to be aware of the most appropriate and constructive ways to engage with one’s children and ex-spouse during the transition.

Parents are typically obligated to interact with one another on some level even after their divorce is finalized. Therefore, it’s important for parents to foster a relationship that is civil and constructive. One important aspect of ensuring that both parents are able to get along in the eyes of each other and their kids is to encourage only respectful and supportive language. Just as children should not be allowed to insult or otherwise belittle their parents, both parents should agree to maintain a level of respect for each other.

Another important aspect of effective joint custody is encouraging and maintaining open communication between both parties. Both parents should be willing and able to inform each other of relevant and important information regarding their children. And while kids can often benefit from feeling included in their family’s plans, they should never be expected to communicate on behalf of one parent to the other.

Having joint custody means that both parents readily accept the importance of working together for the best interests of their kids. The legal counsel and support of an experienced attorney can often help parents set priorities and stick to a parenting plan that suits the needs of their family. Beyond that, attorneys can assist their clients in effectively resolving disputes out of court in many cases.

Source: The Huffington Post, “Dr. Phil’s Do’s and Don’ts for Co-Parenting With Your Ex,” Aug. 29, 2014

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