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How can you help ensure joint custody arrangements succeed?

For many people, once a custody battle is finished and the arrangement is finalized, it can be challenging to make it all work as well as it sounds on paper. Things do change, and not every custody arrangement works out, which is why there are plenty of legal options should you find yourself in such a situation. Don't hesitate to get in touch with a legal professional if you believe your situation can't be resolved without measures of Connecticut law, but consider trying a few steps yourself, too.

One of the most common pieces of advice offered by experts is that parents in these situations should avoid talking negatively about the other person. If you have to hash out your problems with an ex, then speak to a discreet adult friend, a therapist or the ex himself or herself, not the children. You can't share custody and responsibility if you regularly undermine each other.

When you are dealing with custody decisions and schedules, be realistic. No one is well-served when you make a grab for hours or days with your children that are impossible to manage because you also have to work or have obligations. Instead of trying to grab as much time as you can to keep it from your ex, try to work together to ensure the kids get high-quality time with both individuals.

Finally, be aware of your children and their needs when choosing custody arrangements and know that those needs will change. What works for a 5-year-old won't necessarily work for an active 15-year-old with a busy schedule of his or her own. Don't force your child to comply with custody arrangements that interfere with his or her ability to engage with friends, hobbies and activities.

Source: Parents, "9 Rules to Make Joint Child Custody Work," accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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