After a divorce, it’s certainly natural to still want to play a key role in your children’s lives. That means spending time with them, having a say in discipline issues if they arise, helping them deal with problems in school and being there for them as they evolve into the people you hope they will become.
But how do you navigate a shared custody arrangement if you and your former spouse are still at each other throats at every turn? Although it may seem impossible, there really are ways to make it work if you follow some pointers on the subject from experts.
The overarching idea that you have to keep in mind is that even if you and your ex can’t sit together amicably in the same room, that’s not what counts most. What truly matters is the continued well-being of your kids.
You and your former wife or husband don’t need to like each other or even be able to tolerate each other anymore. Focusing strongly on your youngsters and taking care of them will make whatever you still resent about your ex seem far less important. Your children deserve two parents who put them first despite their lingering marital issues.
Tips for successful joint custody when emotions between exes are running high
- Consistency is critical. One of you may be a relentless disciplinarian while the other is excessively lenient. Despite the huge differences in your parenting styles, try to achieve a reasonable balance so your kids aren’t confused when they split their time between the two of you.
- Think about having a mediator who is totally objective, such as a trusted counselor or member of your religious community, who can give you both some perspective if things get heated.
- Remind yourself that the resentment you may have against your former spouse will probably eventually dissipate. You don’t want to wait years until it does to enjoy meaningful relationships with your kids.
An experienced attorney in Kentucky can be a source of information on child custody.