When New Jersey parents decide to divorce, they usually both want to stay in their kids’ lives. Furthermore, many parents work outside the home and lead active social lives. These are some of the reasons why joint child custody is increasingly common when parents decide to separate. While joint custody can benefit children in many ways, there are also some tensions and difficulties that can arise. When exes keep some key principles in mind, they can help to make shared custody a more successful endeavor.
Unsurprisingly, joint custody works best when both parents cooperate with one another and manage their emotional interactions respectfully. Parents have a responsibility not to speak poorly about their former partners in front of the children. Kids may feel like they are torn between their parents, and they may feel pressure to inappropriately choose sides in their parents’ relationship issues.
Some parents see custody as a matter of “winners” or “losers” in the divorce. Custody, however, is about the children, not a verdict on marital behaviors.
Even when the emotional aspects of shared custody are under control, scheduling issues can be particularly challenging. It’s important for parents to be realistic about their schedules and decide on a custody schedule based on their children’s needs. Custody arrangements can include parental commitments as well as children’s academic activities, childcare arrangements or hobbies. There are different ways to divide the week that can be tailored to each family’s needs.
When one decides to end their marriage, they may feel like their relationship with their children is at risk. A family law attorney can work with a divorcing spouse to protect their rights and work to achieve a fair child custody settlement that fosters a close parental relationship.