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Going Through A Divorce And Considering Shared Custody? 3 Tips That Will Help Ensure Successful Co-Parenting

If you have children, your divorce isn't going to just be about you and your spouse. Your children are going to be an integral part of the divorce equation, especially if you're going to be dealing with custody arrangements. You want what's best for your children and in most cases that involves an active, loving relationship with both parents. But how do you ensure that your children will enjoy that type of relationship with both their parents after a divorce?

One way is to utilize the option of shared custody. With a shared custody arrangement, your children will be able to spend quality time with both of their parents. To make a shared custody arrangement work, you and your spouse must be willing to put the needs of your children above your own feelings and needs. Here are three steps you and your spouse can take to ensure that your children benefit from shared custody.

Avoid Being Played

Kids are going to try and play one parent against the other, especially if one parent has said no to something they've asked for. If you and your spouse have agreed on shared custody, it's important that you remain supportive of their parenting. Avoid letting your kids play you against each other. If you and your spouse are supportive of the decisions you each make as parents, your children will soon realize that they can't get you to take sides.

Agree on a Schedule

Children do best when they have a schedule they can rely on. The best way to ensure that your shared custody arrangement is successful is to have a schedule you can both agree on. This schedule should include when you will each have the children. When planning the schedule, be flexible about specific times that both of you will want to have the children – such as family gatherings that both sides of the family may plan.

It's important to remember that unexpected events will arise from time to time. It's important that both of you be willing to accommodate those unexpected schedule changes. Being willing to make occasional changes will help your children see that you are both willing to work together and compromise.

Respect Differences in Parenting Styles

Chances are that you and your spouse have different parenting styles. That doesn't mean that either of those styles are wrong. It just means that they're different. Be respectful of those differences, especially around your children. In other words, don't undermine your spouse by talking negatively about their parenting style when your children are around to hear you.

If you're going through a divorce and you have children, you need to make sure that their needs are met. If you've decided on a shared custody arrangement, the steps described above will help improve your chances for successful co-parenting. Be sure to have your attorney include your custody arrangements in the final divorce agreement. This will help you in court should your spouse fail to abide by the agreement. To learn more about shared custody, talk to an attorney like those represented at