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5 tips to help make joint child custody go smoothly

You and your ex do not always see eye-to-eye. Now, you have to figure out how to raise your children together. You're worried that it is going to be a complete disaster.

At the same time, you know that making things go smoothly is best for your children. You're willing to put in the work if it helps them. What can you do? Below are a few tips to help you succeed.

  1. Always put the children first. Remember that it is all about them, not you. Pick your battles with your ex carefully. If you have the right mindset and realize that the kids come first, it immediately diffuses a lot of tension.
  2. Remember that your spouse can still parent your children well. This is true even if he or she was not a good spouse to you while you were married.
  3. Keep communication open, even if you have to be creative. If you always seem to argue on the phone, for instance, agree to speak in person. If you do not enjoy face-to-face meetings, communicate via email or on social media. Just find a way that works for you.
  4. Think first about what your children need. Consider their activities and schedules. Make a child custody plan that meets those needs, then fit your own life and schedule into it.
  5. Never insult your spouse in front of the kids. Make it a rule that, no matter how angry or frustrated you get, you will remain civil for their sake.

Joint custody does take work. Make sure you know all of your legal rights and the steps you should take to create a successful plan moving forward.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," Kate Bayless, accessed May 23, 2018

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