There are numerous reasons why people turn to divorce after formalizing a marriage relationship. Perhaps the couple drifted apart after years of not building the relationship. Or maybe the couple allowed poor communication habits to bring division in the union. Another reason could be that one spouse looked outside of the marriage for connection which caused unrepairable harm. For those couples with children who are standing on the other side of their divorce they need to learn how work together despite being separated so that they can have a successful joint parenting plan. It is easy to forget during the heartache of divorce that while your former spouse may have been terrible to you, they may be a great parent. More importantly, they are someone that your child needs in their life. Because of this, each parent should agree to some common rules so that your joint physical custody of the child or children can be a winning arrangement for all involved. Otherwise, each transition from parent to parent can be a source of dread for the children and the adults. Here are some rules you should consider putting into practice:
FIND THE RIGHT TRANSITION TIME
One of the most important things to consider is how you will either hand off your children to your former spouse or how you will receive them. Determining the “when” and the “where” are equally important. You want to find times where the child or children are not stressed or feeling burdened by the transition. Perhaps this will take place on a weekend when the stress of school is not present. It is also important that you find a time that works for you as well. If you work evenings or weekends you may not have that luxury so communicating with your former spouse to identify a time for all parties is paramount. You should also consider where you will meet. Will it be a common place, like school, or will it be at each other’s homes.
Another important rule to keep at the forefront of your transition into being single is communication with your spouse. As we already mentioned above divorce can come from a variety of reasons and you may not want to spend time working on communicating with your former spouse. However because of the children you share, you will still have to communicate with them on a regular basis. The benefit of life today is all of the different methods of communication available to people. You can choose to talk face to face, use email, phone, text messaging, or other forms of social media. These different modes of communication give you options to relay information in the best way for your situation. Maybe you and your former spouse decide to use text messages so that you avoid heated conversations, because they give you the option to read it when you are ready. Finding a strategy that works for both of you will lead to greater success.
GET FEEDBACK FROM CHILDREN
A third rule to consider implementing is getting the opinion from your children. Kids have a unique view of the situation because they love both parents equally and want to spend time with both parties. As an adult you don’t want to rely solely on their advice, but if they have an idea to make transitions easier or life better with one parent then it could be considered. Whether you like it or not, you are still a part of a family, granted it is not the same as it once was, but still a family unit.
CONSULT WITH YOUR ATTORNEY
Lastly, a forth rule to consider putting into practice is getting the advice from your lawyer. There may be important legal requirements or restrictions surrounding your joint custody. Having the input from your trusted attorney can make a huge impact in making sure you are on track to have a successful joint custody arrangement. If you are in need of sound legal advice consider contacting Andrews & Arbenz. We are a Tacoma custody lawyers that can help you in your situation.