Going through a divorce does not have to tear a family apart. When done right, it can strengthen the bond that each parent has with their child, while minimizing toxicity and facilitating independence. Maintaining parent-child relationships is often done most successfully through joint custody. Joint custody means that the courts award the rights and responsibilities of care to both parents after a split, rather than just one.
If you are interested in filing for joint custody but you have reservations regarding how it might work in practice, it is a good idea to spend time researching ways to maximize the benefits of joint custody. The following are behaviors you can adopt that will increase the likelihood of maintaining a joint custody agreement that works for everyone.
Focus on the well-being of your child
Joint custody can sometimes feel like it is a compromise between you and the other parent. However, this should never be the case. You should be looking at joint custody from the perspective of your child, and deciding that the arrangement is the best possible arrangement for them, therefore not a compromise at all.
Be realistic about your schedule
Many people are unrealistic about the work-life balance they can maintain because they want to maximize the time they can get with their children. It’s important to recognize that if you are not realistic from the outset about how much time you are able to dedicate to your child, it will only increase the probability of problems and conflicts in months and years to come.
Don’t speak poorly about your ex
Issues will likely arise in your parenting journey, but it is important that you speak directly about these problems and concerns with the other parent. If you speak poorly about your ex in front of your child, this can affect them profoundly. They may have a problematic sense of identity as a result, because they identify as much with you as they do their other parent.
If you want to get the child custody arrangement that will be best for your child, it is vital that you act fast and build a solid case, especially if the other parent has objections to your preferences.