What do you know about making joint custody work?

You and your child’s other parent agreed to joint custody during your divorce, and you want to do as much as you can to make the situation work. What does that look like?

Parents magazine offers tips on making the most of joint child custody. Learn what to do to improve your child’s life post-divorce.

Keep your focus on your shared child

Divorce focuses on the parents, but custody centers on the child. With every aspect of your custody agreement, think about which decisions bring your child the most happiness, safety, balance and peace of mind. Doing so helps you make the right custody decisions, even if you may not like them. Try not to let your emotions block you from doing right by your son or daughter.

Think twice before speaking ill of your ex

If you had a nasty divorce and an unhappy marriage, you may have more than a few unkind words to say about your former partner. Whatever ill will you bear, do not voice it in front of your child or where your child may hear. Children absorb the words they hear, and they may experience poor self-esteem if they witness you badmouthing your ex. Find healthier ways to vent that do not potentially endanger your child’s psychological health.

Learn how to communicate

Depending on your current relationship with your ex, the two of you may struggle with face-to-face communication. If so, work together to find a way to talk to each other about child custody matters. Consider sending text messages, emails or one-way video messages. Technology helps organize your child’s life without face-to-face interactions.

Learn what style of joint child custody works for you. Exploring various ideas and strategies makes co-parenting easier.