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Tips to make joint custody work

Most divorced parents in New York have joint custody of their children. They share parenting time and responsibilities, which allows both parents to continue playing a role in their child's life.

However, that is not always as easy as it sounds. Divorce is a highly emotional and stressful experience for a family to go through. Even after the divorce is finalized, you and your ex may run into challenges regarding custodial matters. Everyone's situation is different, but here are some tips to help make joint custody work. 

Create the custody arrangement that works for you

During the divorce process, parents must establish a custody agreement. It is important to create an agreement that best suits the needs of your child and your family. Crucial factors to consider include: 

  • The child's age and individual needs
  • Each parent's living situation
  • Each parent's relationship with the child
  • How much time each parent spends at work
  • How much time each parent spends caring for the child

It is important to be honest about your situation and realistic about your expectations. A lot of parents fear they might lose time with their child or that their relationship with their child will change after their divorce. These worries are understandable, but it is critical to create a custody plan that works for everyone involved to avoid future problems. 

Remember, you always have the option to modify the arrangement if it is not working or if your circumstances change.

Establish boundaries for communication

If you and your ex are going forward with joint custody, you are going to have to communicate. Productive and respectful communication is often the key to making joint custody work.

Though it may sound tedious, creating rules for communication is helpful. Determining when and how you and your ex communicate can help reduce the risk of disputes while also creating consistency and stability for your child. 

Put your child first

This is likely the most important tip to make joint custody work. Even if you and your ex do not agree on much, you both care for your child and their best interests. Placing your child's needs first can help you and your ex find common ground, even if you run into challenges or disagreements. 

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