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Tips for making joint child custody work

Tips for making joint child custody work

| Sep 2, 2020 | Divorce

Divorced parents in Virginia who have shared physical custody can take steps to make the situation smoother. For example, parents should keep in mind that not getting along with one another does not mean that they are bad parents. Parents need to put their children ahead of their own emotions and avoid bad-mouthing one another.

Effective communication is important to ensuring that co-parenting works. There are a number of tools like apps specifically designed to facilitate communication between parents who are divorced that they may want to explore along with such options as texting and email.

Parents should try to be realistic about their own schedule and how to balance that with their custody responsibilities. There are a number of different possibilities for scheduling roughly 50-50 time with both parents, and the best options may change depending on the age of the child and the specifics of the family situation. Parents may alternate weeks although this is usually better for older children. With a 2-2-3 plan, the child spends two days with one parent, two with the other and three with the first, and then the parents switch. This can prevent younger children from ever having to go a long time without seeing either parent. A 2-2-5 plan operates similarly. Children can participate in custody decisions, but ultimately, their best interests based on all factors should prevail.

When creating a parenting plan, parents may want to include any points that they consider particularly important. For example, parents often want to make a rule about when children can meet their parents’ new partners after divorce. Some parents might want to agree on certain household rules about bedtimes and homework, but if this is not possible, parents should accept that each of them is doing a reasonably good job even if they disagree on specifics.

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