Child custody matters are serious, and they’re sometimes the most challenging part of divorcing. It’s up to the parents to provide the children with the support and consistency they need to thrive. This means putting personal feelings aside and always doing what’s best for the kids.
One of the first things that you’ll need to do is come up with the parenting plan. This is an agreement between you and your ex about how the parenting time and other matters related to the children will be handled. Consider these points as you work on the parenting plan.
#1: Communication terms are important
You and your ex must be able to communicate directly with each other and the terms for this should be included in the parenting plan. Passing messages through the children is harmful and must be avoided. Instead, think of the communication with your ex as a business-like matter. Save contentious discussions for times away from the kids.
#2: The past doesn’t matter
You have to let go of the past. The things that led to the destruction of your marriage don’t matter unless there was abuse. While you’re coming up with parenting plan terms, focus on parenting and not on the former romantic relationship. Letting go of the past leaves you wide open for a healthy and happy future. It also helps over time because you won’t worry about whether your ex has a new love interest or not.
#3: Consistency helps children
Children need consistency, so it’s usually beneficial if both homes have similar rules. This doesn’t mean everything, but some factors like bedtime and phone usage could make a big difference if it’s consistent between homes. As the children mature, you and your ex can work together to change the terms of the mutual rules.
The best interests of the children must always remain at the forefront of child custody decisions. Being able to get the parenting plan set quickly after the separation is beneficial to the children. Some child custody matters require outside-of-the-box solutions, so working with someone who can help you to find those is crucial.