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How do I make joint custody work?

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Joint child custody is sticky situation for millions of families across the country. Many parents, even those who naturally get along, might have trouble handling a joint custody arrangement. If this is the case, there are steps to take to make the situation as easy going as possible. So, how do I make joint custody work?

A child custody arrangement is not about you, your former spouse or even the divorce. It is solely about the children. Yes, the divorce was about you, but this is different. You need to create a good childhood for your children, especially after they have just suffered through a divorce.

Never badmouth your former spouse in front of your children. This is a major no-no when it comes to making a joint child custody arrangement work in everyone's favor. Badmouthing an ex only influences what the child thinks about that parent and can lead to strained relationships even at a young age.

Don't make unrealistic grabs at custody during the agreement. You need to be realistic when it comes to your schedule. Parents who agree to having their kids a set amount per week should be able to stick to that schedule. Take into consideration work, school, travel and anything else that can affect time with your children.

Stop thinking that a bad spouse makes a bad parent. Being a bad spouse does not mean he or she is a bad parent. It's in the best interest of the children that they have continuous contact with both parents, unless there are specific reasons as to why that should be avoided.

Learn how to pick your battles when dealing with joint child custody. There are definitely battles out there that are worth fighting. The other ones should be let go and dealt with using open communication.

Every now and then review the custody arrangement with your former spouse and see if any changes are needed.

Is a joint custody arrangement in your future? A family law attorney in Montgomery County, Maryland, can provide guidance and advice that can be very beneficial.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed May 12, 2017

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