In many child custody situations, one parent has primary custody of the children who are involved. However, many people find that a joint custody agreement is better for both of the parents and the children because it allows the kids to spend equal time with both parents. This can be a good arrangement, but it is important for all parties who are involved to put a lot of effort into making it work. These are a few helpful tips that can make these arrangements more successful.
1. Live Close to One Another
By their very nature, joint custody agreements are generally only going to work out well if both parents live close to one another. It can be too much stress to shuttle the kids back and forth from homes that aren't geographically close, and it can become even more of a problem if the kids are in school and if both homes are not in the same school district.
2. Be Civil
No matter why the two parents who are involved are no longer together, it is essential to work hard to be civil to one another. Of course the two parents do not have to be best friends, but, in a joint custody arrangement, the parents are generally going to have to see one another and work with one another on a regular basis in order to make things work. More arguments are sure to pop up if the two do not make an active effort to get along, and it can make things more miserable for both the parents and the kids. Working to be civil can make the arrangement easier and more peaceful for everyone and can make it easier for the parents to co-parent.
3. Work with a Good Attorney
Even though the two parents might get along well enough, it is still important for each parent to be represented by a good attorney. The attorney can make sure that all of the details of the arrangement are in writing so that everyone who is involved in well-protected, and he or she can also serve as a type of mediator in the event that there is a dispute.
Joint custody can be a wonderful thing for the kids when compared to full custody being held by just one parent. However, joint custody does come with some challenges, and it is critical for parents to follow these tips if they want things to work out as well as possible in this type of arrangement.