Despite how much two parents may want to make it work for the kids, in many cases, families decide to get divorced. The end result is often the child living at one parent’s house and visiting the other. However, in some cases, there is a split custody agreement arranged. Depending on different factors, split custody can be a wonderful thing or in some cases, rather challenging.
Ultimately, it’s up to the parents to make it work and overcome some of the most common challenges associated with the child living back and forth at both parents’ houses. To help you navigate the often complicated world of split custody, here are some of the best tips for making your custody arrangement work with your child and ex-spouse.
Never Put Your Child in the Middle
Emotions can get frazzled frequently following a divorce, and many parents can find themselves using their child as a weapon against the other parent. Regardless of how you feel, you should never put your child in the middle of your feud with your ex. That means no bad-mouthing your ex and no forcing your child to choose between the two of you.
When you put your child in the middle of your adult situations, you risk them experiencing emotional trauma that can carry on for years. Try to be polite with your acts in front of your child, even though it may be one of the most difficult things you’ve ever had to do.
It’s important that your child’s activities are respected during the time they’re with you and with your other spouse. If your spouse enrolled them in a dance class, for example, then it’s important that you honor it and make sure that they get to their agreed activity. The same goes for rules. If one thing isn’t allowed at one parent’s house, then it’s better if it’s not allowed at the other parent.
Conflicting rules can cause kids to play parents off of each other, which isn’t helpful for successful co-parenting. The more consistent that you can make your child’s life when they are at your house and their house, the easier the transition will be between both parents.
Find an Effective Form of Communication
Communicating with the other parent isn’t always easy following a divorce, particularly if it wasn’t an amicable one. Talking on the phone may cause heated conversations, and so can talking face to face. You may want to consider alternative forms of communication like email or even a mediator. Find whatever form of communication works best for you and your ex and doesn’t spark any arguments. It’s highly suggested that you keep a joint calendar online so that you can see agreed appointment times, drop-offs, and any other relevant dates for co-parenting in a split custody situation.
By following these tips and picking your battles, you should successfully make your split custody work and raise happy and healthy children.