While you might be making decisions for your future without your ex-spouse, custody arrangements are most likely set in stone. Part of your family's new lifestyle might involve shared custody and all of the nuances that can come along with this. Here are four custody mistakes you should always try to avoid if possible.
1. Canceling Visits With Kids
Depending on your schedule or custody arrangement, you should always make time with your children a number one priority. Anything that you can do to keep a consistent schedule will help your kids get used to their new lifestyle and will show consistent parenting. If your standing arrangement isn't working because of timing, distance, or other reasons, you may want to revisit your agreement to find something that works better. If not, your ex-spouse may have grounds to seek sole custody down the line.
2. Arguing With Your Spouse on Switch Days
Sometimes the handing off of kids between divorced parents can make stress levels rise. If your ex is late for a pick up or drop off, try not so show your frustration when they do show up. While you might have contentious things to discuss with your ex, doing so in front of your kids isn't healthy. Wait until you can speak to your ex privately or through your family law attorney.
3. Forgetting to Make Kids the Focus
If you have your kids half the time, it is important not to take your time together for granted. While normal day-to-day things are always going to take place on your kid's visits, try to engage them as much as possible. Work to make plans during their next visit when saying goodbye so that they have something to look forward to with you coming up in the future.
4. Not Being Sensitive to Your Child's Feelings
Don't forget that your child's lifestyle has seen a major rearrangement as well, and this needs to be handled with sensitivity. Try to give your child a little space when they immediately come home after visiting your spouse so that they can acclimate. You might want to pepper them with questions about their time with your ex, but try to let them come to you with these kinds of discussion.
Working through custody issues after a divorce can be frustrating, but it is worth it to give this your best effort for your kids. If you can lead by example and be a calm, positive presence, your child will feel stable with new arrangements worked out with family law attorneys. To learn more, contact a law firm like Topalian & Associates.