Navigating joint custody can be one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce. The transition from a united front of parenting to separate households can be fraught with emotional, logistical and legal complexities. Our child custody lawyers have provided these six essential strategies to help you manage and thrive in a joint custody arrangement.

1. Open Lines of Communication

Communication is vital, but it is often easier said than done. Commit to regular, honest conversations about your child’s well-being. This may require putting aside personal grievances. Use mediums that work for both parents, such as phone, email, text, or a co-parenting app.

2. Flexible Scheduling

Create a detailed, flexible custody schedule. Unexpected events or changes might arise, and it is essential to be able to adapt the schedule without conflict.

Leverage technology to manage the schedule. Online calendars or apps can facilitate updates and changes, ensuring that both parents are on the same page without the need for constant communication.

3. The Needs of the Child, First and Foremost

Recognise that your child’s needs should come first and that they may not always align with your desires or expectations. This often means making sacrifices and being prepared to compromise to ensure your child’s happiness and stability.

4. Consistency is Key

Work with your co-parent to set shared rules and expectations. This doesn’t mean both households need to be identical, but consistency in discipline and day-to-day activities is beneficial for the child. This consistency can provide stability during the inevitable upheaval of family structure.

Create a routine centred on custody exchanges. A predictable routine can make the transitions between households smoother for your child.

5. Listen and Learn

Take the time to listen to your co-parent’s perspective. Chances are, they are also experiencing the emotional impacts of the divorce and the new custody arrangement.

Developing empathy for each other can lead to a more amicable post-divorce relationship, which in turn benefits your child.

6. Self-Care and Leading by Example

Taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health is good for you and your child. Children are perceptive and will learn from how you manage adversity.

Lead by example in your attitude towards the custody agreement. Even if it is not ideal, approaching it positively will set a good example for your child.

At Durban Law Offices, our child custody lawyers are well-equipped to help you establish and agree on co-parenting guidelines that benefit your children. Book an appointment for expert assistance in streamlining your child custody arrangement.