Sharing custody with an ex takes a great deal of cooperation and communication. While you and your ex-spouse are bound to have occasional disagreements, you will need to work together to create a parenting plan both of you are satisfied with. If you’re a parent, you know that this can be easier said than done. However, following the tips below may help you to get a plan in place that works for everyone.
Some parents don’t consider the fact that their kids may not want to spend their free time with them. If your kid is active in extracurricular activities such as playing sports, you need to factor this into the plan. You want to avoid one parent being left with little time to spend with their kid. Consult the schedules of outside activities to ensure that there will be a healthy balance of custody.
Discuss the flexibility of the plan.
Things come up that you will not be able to plan for. You should discuss how you will reach an agreement for when this occurs. How flexible are each of you willing to be? For example, if you have a family reunion scheduled, would the other parent be willing to rearrange the schedule so that the child could attend? Each of you will encounter instances in which you will want to make exceptions to the plan and getting on the same page ahead of time can help to resolve these issues quickly.
Ask your kids what they want.
It’s possible that your child has preferences regarding who they want to spend time with who. For older kids especially, you and your ex may want to discuss their ideas about the parenting plan. Make sure to speak with them before things are set in stone or you may end up needing to make modifications later. Your child will be going through plenty of changes, and you don’t want them to feel a loss of control in their lives.
Each of you needs to be willing to put your differences aside to create a plan that works. Try to stay reasonable and grounded in your requests. If you are struggling to come up with a satisfactory schedule, you may want to discuss how you can resolve these issues with a family law attorney.