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Child custody and your children: Make sure they're comfortable

As you work through your divorce, it won't be long before you turn your attention to child custody, visitation and related matters. This is often one of the biggest sticking points in the divorce process, so you need to prepare accordingly.

Once you work through everything with your ex-spouse, either in mediation or litigation, you'll have a parenting agreement and visitation schedule that can guide you in the future.

How to work through a co-parenting disagreement

If you share custody with your ex-spouse, you know that co-parenting is now a big part of your life. Even if the both of you share the desire to provide your children with stability, you're still likely to disagree every now and again.

Some situations are simple to deal with, as you can agree to disagree and then move on. Others, however, require you to take action to find common ground.

How to plan for visitation with your children

If you have visitation rights, it's important that you closely follow your schedule as to spend as much time as possible with your children. It's different than what you're used to, but settling into a schedule will allow you to enjoy your time together.

Here are several tips you can follow to help plan for visitation with your children:

  • Set up your home: Even though your children don't live with you, you should still set up your home to accommodate their needs. This will make them more comfortable from day one.
  • Ask them what they want to do: Rather than set a schedule on your own, ask your children for feedback on what they want to do while visiting.
  • Enlist the help of your ex: For example, you can ask your ex to speak with your children about visiting with you. When your children know that both their parents are on the same page, they're more likely to feel comfortable with the situation.
  • Let your children communicate with your ex: Just because your children are visiting with you doesn't mean you should shut them off from your ex. If they want to text or call every now and again, there's nothing wrong with that.

It's time to implement these spring break child custody tips

Spring break is an exciting time of the year for children of all ages. For example, if you have high school-aged children, there's a good chance they get a few extra days off during this time of the year.

Depending on your schedule, you may have big plans to spend extra time with your children during spring break. However, if you have a parenting agreement and visitation schedule, it's critical to follow it as closely as possible.

Ways your ex can disturb your co-parenting flow

When it comes to co-parenting, it's important to settle into a routine that works for you, your ex, and most importantly, your children.

While this may be your top priority, don't be surprised if your ex doesn't take as much pride in their approach. In fact, they may intentionally make decisions to disturb your co-parenting flow, all with the idea of getting back at you for something they believe you did wrong.

Visitation issues to watch for

When it comes to visitation after divorce, you have every intention of making things work. However, there's something you need to remember: You're not the only person involved in the process.

If your ex-spouse and your children aren't on the same page as you, you could find yourself with a problem on your hands.

Child custody questions to answer during the divorce process

As you prepare for the divorce process, there's nothing more important than understanding the impact it'll have on your children and the steps you can take to protect them.

This typically starts with a clear understanding of child custody. Here are some of the many questions you should answer before and during the divorce process:

  • Are you okay with the idea of joint custody, or do you have reason to believe that sole custody is in the best interest of your children?
  • Are you familiar with the difference between physical custody and legal custody?
  • Are your children old enough to have a say in where they live and how they visit with their noncustodial parent?
  • If you receive physical custody of your children, do you want to remain in the family home or seek somewhere else to live?
  • Are you familiar with the way visitation works for the noncustodial parent?

How to explain visitation to your children

Depending on the age of your children, they may have a basic idea of how the divorce process works and what it means to them. And even if they're too young to realize exactly what's happening, they're still smart enough to know that they're no longer living in the same house with both their parents.

It's critical to take the right steps when explaining visitation to your children. You want them to be clear about what it is, as well as the benefits for everyone involved. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Talk about the benefits to them: For example, explain how these visits give them more time with their other parent. And with permission from your ex, you can even go into details about all the fun things they'll get to do.
  • Explain how it works: Before your children leave you, let them know how long they'll be gone and whether or not they're staying overnight. You don't want anything to catch them by surprise.
  • Let them have a say: Even though you and your ex need to closely follow your parenting agreement and visitation schedule, it's okay for your children to have a say in what happens. This is particularly true if they're old enough to know what is happening. As long as both you and your ex are okay with the decisions being made, it should work out for the best. You want to settle on a visitation schedule and arrangement that makes everyone happy.

Co-parenting and your ex: When to discuss your concerns

During the divorce process, you create a parenting agreement that's designed to help you and your ex provide stability for your children. While you may consider it an important part of your post-divorce life, your ex may not take it nearly as seriously.

If co-parenting isn't working out and you and your ex have problems with your parenting agreement, it often makes sense to discuss your concerns with your ex. It's hoped that this conversation will rectify your concerns and get everything back on track.

How to work through a child custody dispute with your ex

The last thing you want to deal with after a stressful divorce is a child custody dispute. However, if you share children with your ex, there's a good chance this will happen at some point.

It's easy to believe that every dispute will result in a serious argument, but this doesn't have to be the case. There are steps you can take to calmly work through a child custody dispute, thereby reducing tension and allowing you to be better co-parents in the future.

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