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Back-to-school child custody tips

With summer vacation in the past, your children are now back in school for the foreseeable future. While this may free up some time in your day, it can also lead to a variety of child custody related issues.

Here are four back to school child custody tips you can follow to avoid disagreements with your ex-spouse:

  • Follow your parenting agreement: You can turn to this agreement for a schedule outlining what happens during the school year. For example, you may be responsible for picking your child up from school on certain days of the week.
  • Be flexible with visitation schedules: When school starts back up, your children will have more activities. Subsequently, it's more difficult to stay on track in regards to visitation schedules. Both parents should remain flexible.
  • Stay in touch: This doesn't mean you have to talk to your ex-spouse every day, but you should have an open line of communication between the two of you. This can include but is not limited to face-to-face conversations, phone calls, text messaging and email.
  • Plan as far ahead as possible: It's not always easy to do, but talk to your ex about any potential roadblocks over the next few months. Dealing with these in advance can help prevent an argument in the future.

How to make the most of supervised visitation

Supervised visitation isn't the ideal situation after divorce, but it still allows you to spend valuable time with your children.

With the right approach, you'll find both you and your children having an enjoyable time. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Plan in advance: Think about the activities you can partake in during your visit. These may be limited, as the result of the supervision, but that doesn't mean you have to simply sit and talk. You can read a book together, play a board game, or make a craft.
  • Don't just do, talk: It's okay to have activities planned, but there's nothing wrong with a good conversation. This allows you to connect with your children on a deeper level. Try to do both during your visits.
  • Ask questions about their life: How is school going? Are you signing up for any sports this year? How have your friends been? Do you have anything special planned for the upcoming school year? These questions will help break the ice, while also allowing you to learn more about what's going on in their life.

How to ease the strain of divorce on your children

Divorce will impact everyone involved, including your children. Since it's your responsibility to keep them safe and stable, it's critical to learn more about the many ways you can ease the strain of divorce.

Here are three steps you can take:

  • Answer their questions. If your child has a question, it's imperative to provide a truthful answer. Ignoring them or lying will only make things more difficult in the future. But there is a limit to the information that you need to share with them, so keep it age-appropriate.
  • Put your children first. If your soon-to-be ex-spouse takes the same approach during the divorce process, you're positioning your children to establish a "new normal." Also, never put your children in the middle of your negotiations with your ex. For example, don't ask your children which parent they like better or tell them bad things about their other parent.
  • Stay in tune with their feelings: Don't make the mistake of having one single discussion about the divorce and never addressing it again. They are sure to have questions before, during and after the divorce is complete. By staying in tune with their feelings, you can provide the necessary support at all times.

Include these five points in your parenting agreement

Going through a divorce is never easy. This is particularly true if you have children with the other individual. Not only does this complicate the divorce process, but it can also lead to issues in the future.

Fortunately, with the right parenting agreement in place, you should find it easier to co-parent.

Divorced dads and their relationships with their children

As a divorced dad with visitation rights, it's important to do whatever you can to spend quality time with your children. This will allow you to maintain a solid relationship, despite the fact that you're no longer married.

Fathers establishing a relationship with their children is undoubtedly important for both individuals. You need to know your rights if you are facing a divorce and you don't want to lose your grip on your relationship.

Answer these questions to choose a custody exchange location

It sounds simple enough to exchange custody of your children with your ex-spouse, but a few challenges may be standing in your way. For example, choosing an exchange location is easier said than done. This is particularly true if you don't live near to one another.

If you're struggling with this, here are some key questions to answer:

  • Does your custody agreement provide guidance? For example, you may have been ordered by the court to conduct exchanges at a specific location. In this case, you should follow the order down to every last detail.
  • What's the benefit of a neutral location? Above all else, this allows you to exchange custody in a safe place, such as a restaurant, shopping mall or police station. Also, it keeps your ex away from your house, thus minimizing the risk of a confrontation with you or your new partner.
  • What's the best way to find a neutral exchange location? In addition to your own research, speak with your local police department. They can provide guidance, as your community may have a designated area.

Prepare for questions from your children after divorce

After your divorce is in the past, it's time for the healing process to begin. This holds true for you, your ex-spouse and your children.

During this time, you should expect your children to ask a variety of questions. Preparing for them accordingly will go a long way in helping you put their mind at ease.

Tips to avoid a co-parenting argument with your ex-spouse

Your divorce is final and you're looking forward to your new life. However, if you're co-parenting with your ex-spouse, this person will remain in your life for the foreseeable future.

There are sure to be times when you don't see eye-to-eye with your ex, but you should always do your best to avoid an argument. Here are a few tips for helping you do so:

  • Remain calm. When you lose your temper, there's a greater chance that your ex will do the same. If you feel the urge to lash out, walk away from the situation until you cool down.
  • Keep communication clear and concise. If you want something, ask for it. If you're answering a question, provide a clear answer that your ex can easily understand. Don't leave any gray area when communicating.
  • Realize that it's okay to disagree. Just the same as married couples, you're sure to have disagreements with your ex. It's okay to disagree, as long as you don't let it stand in the way of successful co-parenting.
  • Listen to your ex. It's hard to get used to, but it's critical to listen to your ex as opposed to tuning them out. This can help you make better decisions as a parent.

Tips for a smooth child custody exchange

Exchanging custody of your children with your ex-spouse sounds simple enough, but this isn't always the case. There are a variety of issues that can move to the forefront, so it's important to do whatever you can to avoid confrontation.

Here are four top tips for a smooth child custody exchange:

  • Choose a safe location: An exchange should always happen in a public place, such as your child's school or a shopping mall, as it lessens the likelihood of an altercation.
  • Bring someone along with you: For example, ask a family member or friend to accompany you when dropping off or picking up your child. This can help relieve some of the tension. This person can also act as a witness if something bad happens.
  • Respect the other parent's time: Get into the habit of always showing up on time (or early). If you neglect to do this, you're giving your ex a reason to be upset with you. If you're going to be late for any reason, notify your ex so they can adjust their schedule accordingly.
  • Avoid an argument: You may get the impression that your ex wants to argue. Rather than go down this path, take the high road by remaining calm and walking away.

Key questions to answer when creating a parenting agreement

As you go through the divorce process, it's critical to keep in mind the best interests of your children. Neglecting to do so can result in a variety of mistakes, such as a parenting agreement that doesn't mutually benefit you, your ex and your children.

Here are some key questions to answer when creating a parenting agreement:

  • Which parent will have physical custody of the children?
  • Which parent will have legal custody of the children?
  • What type of visitation schedule makes the most sense for the noncustodial parent?
  • What's the best way to manage timesharing on special occasions, such as birthdays, summer vacation and holidays?
  • How will you deal with contact with other family members, such as grandparents and close friends?
  • Will you include language outlining a strategy for dealing with future changes and disputes?
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