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5 tips for handling difficult child custody situations

Child custody situations are complex matters that must be handled in the proper manner so that the children can thrive. When kids don't have parents who can work together and put them first, there is a chance that they might not have the stability and consistency they need.

It can be difficult to work together with your ex, especially if the divorce was contentious. In these cases, planning your next steps might make things easier.

Putting the children first

When you put your children first, you won't be able to let what happened between you and your ex bother you. The child custody agreement should be based on what your children need and not what will be the most unenjoyable arrangement for your ex. Just remember that sometimes, what's best for your children might not be what is easiest for you. You must be able to put yourself aside when you have to make these difficult decisions.

Choose your words carefully

You should be sure that you are only speaking things that will uplift your children and benefit the situation. Disparaging your ex or speaking harshly to your child's other parent can work against your wishes to create a nurturing environment for your children. It might help you to remember that just because your ex was a bad spouse doesn't necessarily mean that they are a bad parent. Focus on how they treat your children and you might find that remaining cordial is a tad easier.

Create a realistic schedule

Trying to make an unrealistic schedule work can be a primary source of stress for parents. You need to be truthful and realistic about your own schedule, including your shifts at work, since this is often a primary concern in child custody matters. Remember that you and your ex can work together to ensure that your children can attend their activities and other necessary events and appointments.

Decide what truly matters

You and your ex aren't going to do everything exactly the same. This can lead to some challenging circumstances if you notice that things aren't going the way you think they should. In these cases, deciding what you should do can be complicated. Ultimately, if your children are happy, healthy and safe, you might not need to do anything.

Empower your children

Your children are impacted by the divorce and the decisions you make. You need to empower them to express their feelings, but they might need your support to do this in an appropriate manner. They should feel able to discuss things that are bothering them. Let them know that they are heard.

Your parenting plan should have at least basic information about the way things will work. Reviewing this periodically can help you to ensure that you are remaining in compliance with it.

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