When you and your spouse split up, your household goes into a period of dramatic change. During this time, it is important to keep things as stable as possible for your children to minimize the impact of this life-changing event. Most couples work out an agreement to share parenting decisions and time spent with their offspring.
According to Psychology Today, here are things to consider with respect to joint custody.
Learn to Share Parenting as Well as Time
When you share joint custody, your child usually goes back and forth between your household and their other parent’s home, based upon a predetermined agreement. Some parents choose to do a one-week on, one-week off pattern, while others alternate weekends and split up the weeknights.
Often, parents and courts alike make “fairness” the standard to adhere to, in terms of children spending as equal an amount of time as they can with each parent. However, despite dividing time pretty much in half, one of you may do much more of the actual parenting than the other. It is important that you learn to work together to not just share your time with your child, but also to co-parent in a way that benefits everyone.
Sometimes, one parent leans on a child emotionally, to fulfill his or her own needs. Not only does this reverse the parenting roles, but it is also very unfair to the child because it gives them a difficult, unwanted job. Try to remain the parent at all times.
Keep Two Similar Households
Everyone has distinct habits and personalities, but for the sake of your child, it is vital to align the running of your homes as much as possible. For example, if your ex is a neat freak and you are messy and disorganized, it is difficult for your child to go back and forth adjusting to these different styles.
Keeping similar homes to the best of your ability helps your child minimize adjustment periods. It creates less chaos, which is better for the well-being of the entire family.