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Joint custody doesn't have to be a hassle

The previous post on this blog discussed how important it is to put your child first if you are in the midst of a custody battle. The importance of doing that doesn't end when the agreement is made. Instead, putting your child first must continue until your child is an adult who is making his or her own decisions.

If you and your ex have joint custody of your child, you have to learn how to work together to make that agreement work. There are several things that you must consider if you truly want to make the joint custody agreement as easy as possible for you and your ex and as enjoyable as possible for your child.

Child custody agreements are important because they provide information about how situations must be handled. Even though it is really easy to be a stickler for doing exactly what the custody agreement says, that isn't always what is best for the child. In the overall scheme of things, will it really matter if you and your ex switch weekends so that your child can go to an event that he or she is really looking forward to that would require him or her to be at the other parent's house? More than likely, it wouldn't hurt anything to switch.

You also have to be sure that you don't speak negatively about the other parent and that you make things like the transfer from one parent to the other as simple as possible. The agreement might say that you and your ex each drop off the child at the other one's home. If your ex can't do that for whatever reason, it might be best for you to just handle transportation that one time.

Ultimately, you and your ex can have a big impact on how easy the new arrangement is on your child. If there are issues that can't be resolved or things that need to be changed, you may have to turn to the court to get the agreement to reflect new solutions.

Source: Family Education, "Making Joint Custody Work," Katy Abel, accessed Oct. 07, 2016

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