Joint custody is the term used to explain what happens when a California court decides that both parents will become equally responsible for the care and guardianship of a child after a divorce. A shared custody agreement can become a little complicated to navigate at first, and it may take a bit of time for the ex-spouses to figure out all of the logistics. But things shouldn’t become too difficult to manage once both parties consider a few key points.
One of the most important aspects of shared custody is both parents agreeing to not speak badly of the other. Children tend to internalize the bad things they hear about either parent. A parent who is angry at their ex should stay away from criticizing them within earshot of the kids they share. This criticism can only hurt the child.
Both parents should also understand that their child is not a trophy. Joint custody agreements should be about what is best for the child. A shared custody agreement is a partnership in which both parents agree to provide the best childhood possible for their kids.
Exes should be realistic regarding scheduling and making commitments. Of course, both parents will want the child to know that they are always available for them. But at some point, parents should focus on devising a life plan that’s fair for both households.
The things that went wrong in the marriage should not become reasons for bickering regarding parenting agreements. The relationship shared as spouses and co-parents are not the same, and the interaction should reflect this fact.
Finally, ex-spouses need to find a way to maintain an open line of communication. The talk does not have to be overly friendly, but it should always be courteous and effective. Parents should also ensure they allow time to hear the thoughts and feelings of their kids.
All parents want the best life possible for their children. There is no exception to this rule for parents facing a divorce. A divorce attorney may be able to help a client who has concerns regarding the custody of one or more children.