By: Lauren Bove
When it comes to sharing custody, dealing with an ex-spouse could be tricky business. If you keep your cool and follow basic guidelines, however, you can smooth out the rough spots and continue moving forward.
Keep the Court Orders Handy
Adhering strictly to the custody agreement will help eliminate problems in the beginning. Keep the court documents nearby. You may need to refresh your memory or remind them with an irrefutable document.
Pick Your Battles
When possible, give in on minor issues like parenting styles. Save the battles for things that really matter. You’ll have more credibility during disagreements after showing a history of flexibility. If the custody order states that your child is to be home Sunday night at 7:00 p.m., don’t allow requests for more time. Your ex may use the pattern of allowing the time change as justification to make it official in court.
Know Your Rights
Consult with your attorney if you believe they’re not obeying the court rules. An attorney’s advice now can save you money later on. The first year or two can be full of unexpected issues and “I never thought he’d do that” moments. Know what is legal and what rights you are entitled to under the law.
Stick to the Schedule
Keeping track of who had your child for holidays this year will help you plan ahead and reduce schedule confusion in the future. A diary entry or quick jot on your daily planner will keep the facts straight.
Do What’s Best for the Child
This is your mission. Never fight in front of your child. As much as you would like to give them a piece of your mind, never speak poorly about your ex in front your kids. It could be hard to do, but it’s best for everyone.