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Don't make joint custody arrangements a nightmare for your child

Having joint custody of your child can either be a journey that is enjoyable or one that is a nightmare. If you want it to be enjoyable, you and your ex will each have to do your part to make sure that you keep conflict at bay. The biggest thing that you have to do is to remember that you and your ex aren't the focus of the joint custody. Your child is the focus and that should always be at the heart of every matter.

Because you and your ex will likely have disagreements along the way, you have to make sure that you handle these appropriately. You shouldn't bring your child into the disagreement. You shouldn't badmouth your ex to your child. Instead, look at the facts of the disagreement, be willing to compromise and work through the issue like an adult.

When issues with scheduling time with your child arise, you have to be realistic. Think about what you will actually be able to do. If you know that you work every weekend night, insisting that your child spends every weekend with you isn't really a good idea. You also have to be realistic when thinking about your ex's schedule. If your ex works Monday through Thursday on second shift, don't insist that he or she has your child on those days. Instead, you could take those days and let your ex have Friday through Sunday.

In many cases, the child custody agreement is the first place you should look if there are issues. You might find the answer there. If you don't see the answer and you and your ex can't figure things out, you may need to seek help from the court to get issues resolved.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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