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4 tips for sharing custody with your ex after divorce

More and more New York parents are agreeing to have joint custody child custody arrangements in which the child spends time with both parents equally. These arrangements can work very well, especially for the child, who benefits from spending as much time as possible with both parents. However, they come with some challenges, not the least of which is the fact that your child will essentially have two homes.

In order to minimize the challenges associated with joint custody and make it a good arrangement for you, your child and the other parent, be sure to follow these important tips.

Don't talk bad about the other parent: This seems obvious from a logical perspective. You don't want to put your child in the middle of your arguments with the other parent. Nevertheless, it's easy to let a subtle comment slip here or there. Just remember that what you say about your ex is the way your child will begin to think of him or herself one day. It can also change your child's attitude toward you, perhaps in subconscious ways.

Make it about your children: Your joint custody arrangements and all of your parenting efforts are about your children. The process of getting divorced can create strong feelings and the need to protect your asset division and other financial rights. However, parents need to keep the best interests of their children at the forefront if they want to be the best parents they can be.

Be realistic: Keeping the above in mind, also realize that no one is really a perfect parent. Your children are resilient and they will survive your divorce and all of your failings. Be realistic and do the best that you can do considering your schedule, the other parent's schedule, your child's best interests and your financial capacity.

The above tips are a great start to being an excellent co-parent. Another way to get off to a good start is to break up with your ex as peacefully as possible using alternative dispute resolution instead of a court battle.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed Dec. 11, 2017

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