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Making shared custody work for your family

Sharing custody of your children with your ex can have its challenges including coordinating schedules and identifying financial responsibilities. Even though you might not be able to prevent every problem, there are things you can do to reduce tension.

Your actions can go a long way to make shared custody a functional and rewarding experience for everyone.

Develop a professional relationship

Ending your marriage will undoubtedly change the relationship you have with your spouse. This can complicate matters if you plan to continue sharing custody of your children. Try to develop a professional relationship with your soon-to-be-ex. Recognize that each of you may disagree on many levels including the most appropriate way to raise and parent your children. However, U.S. News suggests that when you share custody, you maintain open lines of communication to reduce tension and encourage respect.

Do your best to communicate amicably with your ex. Have dignity and avoid negative interactions in the presence of your children. Arrange difficult discussions to occur privately and prioritize your children above anything else. A professional relationship might help you circumvent serious disagreements before they interfere with your custody agreement and begin to affect your children.

Create and respect boundaries

Even though you share custody with your ex, you are also a single parent. You have the right to establish boundaries that will protect you and your children. Likewise, you should show respect to your ex and honor the boundaries in your children’s other household.

A well-written custody agreement can help you vocalize your boundaries. It can also encourage compliance from all parties to reduce tension. If at any point your custody arrangement stops working or your ex ignores its parameters, you have the right to request a modification to restore the order.

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