5 Tips for Keeping the Peace When Sharing Custody of the Kids. After a Divorce


CustodyDivorce is tough on everyone, but children often pay the highest price when the fighting and anger continue even after the adults have gone their separate ways.Here are five tips for keeping the peace with your ex when sharing custody, for the children’s sake:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff:

“If both parents can develop a level of trust in each other (admittedly a very difficult thing to do in the face of a divorce or the end of a relationship), then they can reduce resentments by having less inclination to micromanage what takes place in each other’s home. There is a difference between bad parenting and just different parenting styles. Differing parenting styles are not necessarily bad, but the more that parents can collaborate to create consistency between the parenting styles in their separate homes without imposing rigid requirements on each other, the less likely the children will view one home as ‘better’ or ‘more fun’ than the other.”

2. Remember the basics:

“The most important factor to consider in your custody schedule is your child’s best interests. The court is primarily concerned that your schedule provides the stability and security your child needs. Although we often think of parental visitation in terms of rights, visitation is also a parental obligation. As such, parental availability must be maximized when establishing your custody schedule.”

3. Let technology be your friend:

“Precedents are growing throughout the country for the inclusion or allowance of virtual visitation in a parenting plan… Technology is a boon to families who are not nearby and a skilled divorce lawyer can help you to arrange for virtual visitation. Email, texting, instant messaging and web cameras on phones or computers can strengthen the bond between parents and children.”

4. Don’t leave anyone out:

“Be sure that both of you have contacted the schools, coaches, doctors and anyone else who has contact with the kids on a regular basis, so that all of those folks have both parents’ contact information and know to call or email both of you. This saves one parent from feeling left out and one parent being put unfairly in an ‘assistant’ position. The information about activities, doctor’s appointments, etc. can all go into that mutual Internet calendar so all can see.”

5. Talk to your kids about what’s going on:

“Be prepared to have many conversations with your children about the divorce – they should be given many opportunities to communicate their thoughts and feelings, none of which should be dismissed. Read books about divorce to young children and encourage young children and teenagers to express themselves through art and music.”