Joint custody after a divorce is usually complex in Texas. Co-parenting keeps both parents in their children’s lives, so parents should put aside their differences and focus on their children. Some relationships are contentious and making shared decisions can feel impossible. However, there are ways to make joint custody arrangements work after a divorce.
Benefits for the children
A benefit of joint child custody is allowing children to feel love from both parents. Co-parenting allows both households to have similar rules, and children can see their parents work together to solve issues.
Parents should set their emotions aside
Successful joint custody requires parents to put their anger, hurt or resentment aside and focus on their children. Co-parenting is about the needs of their children and not their feelings about each other. Children may develop depression or anxiety if they see their parents fighting often.
Parents can talk about their negative emotions with friends, therapists and pets. Resentment about the divorce may never go away, but it’s important to keep the children out of the middle. Parents shouldn’t make negative comments to children or use them as messengers.
Improve communications between both parents
Meeting in person for drop-offs isn’t always necessary if the parents are in conflict. Approaching the post-divorce relationship like business partners may work. Parents should listen to each other and make requests instead of demands. Parents should commit to talking consistently and keep the conversation child-focused.
Co-parent as a team
Parenting is full of decisions, and joint custody is no different. Both parents should stick to a consistent schedule and make major decisions together during joint child custody. The decisions to think about include medical needs, education and financial issues.
The big decisions may end in compromise, which is a win for both parents. Children may need space to adjust to the new joint child custody schedule, but if both parents work together, they can find a way to help the children successfully transition into the new arrangement.