As a co-parent, you likely understand the basics of custody etiquette. You understand that you should not drop your children off late or speak poorly about your ex-spouse in front of the children. However, there is so much more to sharing custody than some of these more basic, common sense principles. Ultimately you want to think about and do what is best for your children and that may not always be what is best for you, right?
To help you navigate some of the difficulties of shared custody, we compiled a list of do’s and don’ts that can help you as you continue to co-parent moving forward:
Never ask your children to choose between parents: You might feel like you are doing something considerate for your children by asking them what their preference is regarding who they would rather spend the weekend with, but you are actually putting them in a terrible position. Your children will be acutely aware of the fact that, no matter what choice they make, one of their parents will be hurt. Asking them to shoulder that burden is unfair and cruel. No matter how old your children are, do not leave this up to them.
Do not make your children feel guilty for the time they spend with their other parent: It is incredibly hard to make a situation completely equal. Therefore, you or your co-parent might ultimately feel as though someone is getting more time with the children and, consequently, feel bad about it. While you might not be able to control feeling sad about not being able to get as much time as you would like to have with your children, you can control how you react to those feelings. Never make your children feel guilty about the time they spend with their other parent. They should feel free to love both you and your ex-spouse and, if you make them feel guilty about how they spend their time, your emotions will weigh on them and make this situation harder than it likely already is.
Ensure your children have enough time with both parents: You might not be on the best terms with your ex-spouse/partner, but this does not mean you should try to derail his or her chances to spend time with the children. Your children need both of you, so put their needs first in this situation and avoid taking your anger out on your ex-spouse by being unsupportive of his or her relationship with the children.
Communicate effectively, openly, and honestly: Communication is key in any relationship, especially in a co-parenting relationship. Just keep your conversations focused on the children, their needs, and what is in their best interests to avoid any unnecessary complications. Remember, this is about the children and not how you and your ex-spouse feel about one another.
Child Custody Attorney in La Mesa
If you are in the midst of a child custody dispute, it is crucial that you seek skilled legal assistance to ensure you are able to get a favorable result. At The Law Offices of Andrea Schneider in La Mesa, I have been working as a child custody attorney since 1992 and possess a thorough understanding of the complexities often involved in such sensitive cases. You should not go through this process alone. As a mom of 2 kids, I understand how important your children are to you and that’s why I love helping with child custody and visitation cases
Get started on your case today and contact my office at (619) 304-8499 to request a free initial case evaluation.