Putting aside relationship issues can be difficult for a divorced couple, but trying to act civil is going to be best for the children involved. A child that can have a positive relationship with each parent will be more likely to have an easier adjustment with the divorce.
Parents that have joint or shared legal custody of their children remain a partnership in caring for them for significant periods of time and share in making major decisions for the children involved. The key is to always put the child’s interest above anything else so that they feel more important than the conflict that ended your marriage.
Joint custody arrangements
There should be some type of written child physical custody agreement so that both parents know when they will have the children and other guidelines in caring for the children. The arrangement should take into consideration Utah custody laws and factors will include work schedules, living arrangements and location. Letting the kids be involved and understanding when they will get to see the other parent is important. One idea is to schedule time on the family calendar for the children to see.
Past hurt and resentment can make it hard to communicate calmly with your ex-spouse, however, when children are involved it’s best to put these feelings aside and concentrate on the stability and happiness of the children. Effective communication helps each ex-spouse understand the visitation agreements and make major decisions together that involve the children. When you need to have a serious discussion, talk on the phone or privately to avoid having a confrontation in front of the children. Asking about the children when they are apart and dropping off or picking up the children should be done with respect and consideration for the other ex-spouse in a calm, polite tone.
Making the transition easier
Any family relationship takes work, but particularly when the parents separate or divorce. When it comes to helping the children adjust easier to the new physical custody arrangements, honesty can do a lot to ease confusion and hurt. Tell your children on a level that they can understand why you are getting a divorce and let them know that you will both still be there for them. Say I love you often and do little things to bring a smile to their face to show you will still be there to take care of them. Keep communication open and be ready to explain new experiences that come along because of the divorce. Also, try to stick to your usual daily routine as much as possible to help your child feel secure.
Lasting benefits of co-parenting
Let’s face it adjusting to a divorce is no easy feat, but for the parents fully involved in shared child custody, it has been shown to be best for the children (except for cases involving an abusive or mentally unstable parent). One study done by Robert Bauserman, PhD, a psychologist in Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene showed children in joint custody, compared to sole full custody, tend to have less emotional and behavioral problems, exhibit higher self-esteem, enhanced school performance and have better relationships with their family. However you look at it, splitting child custody between ex-spouses, although difficult, will prove the best lasting benefits for children involved.
For more information about child custody, visit PhysicalCustody.com