The Dos and Don’ts of Sharing Child Custody with Your Ex

Sharing custody with your ex can certainly pose a challenge, especially as you settle into the new routine. In the long run, though, joint custody arrangements are almost always best for the children involved.

While growing pains are inevitable, there are ways to facilitate the transition so it’s easier on everyone involved. There are also quite a few missteps you should make sure to avoid, so as to keep from complicating matters, which will only make things harder.

Read on for some of the most important “dos and don’ts” to remember as you navigate this chapter in your life:

1. Do Cooperate with Your Ex

Cooperation is the foundation of every successful joint arrangement. If you’re having a tough time working with your ex, consider talking to a professional who specializes in separation and divorce. A knowledgeable therapist can give you strategies for diffusing tension and keeping interactions focused on your children.

2. Don’t Speak Badly About Your Ex

This may be an obvious tip, but it’s worth mentioning because it’s an easy one to forget in the heat of the moment. Avoid speaking badly about your ex to your children or to anyone when they’re within earshot. Doing so will only confuse them and may even leave them feeling as though they need to choose sides, which is the last thing you want them to experience.

3. Do Maintain a Positive Attitude

It’s natural to miss your children when they’re with their ex, but you should try to do everything in your power to maintain an upbeat outlook when interacting with them. If you call them every night before bed, for example, don’t talk about how lonely you are without them. Instead, talk about all the fun activities you’re going to do when they’re back at your house.

Putting a positive spin on things will make your children feel so much more comfortable and secure in their new dynamic.

4. Don’t Overlook Your Own Mental Health

Adjusting to change is never easy, so give yourself a little grace as you settle into the new routine. That being said, if you do find yourself struggling, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Just because you keep things positive with your kids, for example, doesn’t mean you cannot divulge your negative thoughts and feelings to others. In fact, you should put together a support group, which might include a therapist, friends, and loved ones. Then, whenever you find yourself having an especially hard time, you have a list of people whom you can reach out to for frequent pep talks.

Call 231-946-0700 to Speak with a Child Custody Attorney in Michigan

If you’re facing a child custody dispute, turn to Smith & Johnson for strategic legal counsel at every stage of the proceedings. We have been representing Michigan citizens since 1965, and we’re well-versed in the state’s statutes and precedents pertaining to family law. Call 231-946-0700 or submit the Contact Form on our website to schedule a free initial consultation with a child custody lawyer in Michigan.