Having to handle situations that come up when you have joint custody of a child isn't always easy. You and your ex can't simply forget about each other and move on with life. Instead, you will have to work together for the good of your children. This is where the challenge lies.
Working with your ex might seem like a fight waiting to happen. However, working through issues in an amicable manner can make the joint custody situation easier. It can also set a good example for your child. Here are some points for you to remember:
1. Remember that your ex can still be a great parent even if he or she wasn't a great spouse. These two situations are similar, but not identical. Pay attention to how he or she treats your children instead of how your ex treated you and this might make it easier to realize the difference.
2. Respect your ex. This can be difficult when the situation is contentious. However, your ex is still your child's other parent. Don't fall into the habit of speaking negatively about him or her to your children or when they can hear what you are saying. There isn't any reason why your children should have to choose between you and your ex.
3. Let your children know that what they think is important. Show them respect and help them to understand that they can always come to you when they need to talk.
4. Don't pick fights about every little thing regarding custody matters. Determine what is most important to you and fight those battles. You won't always get your way and nor will your ex.
5. Make the custody schedule realistically. You need to think clearly about your schedule and what you can do. If there is something that your ex can do and you know that you can't do, there isn't anything wrong with letting your ex handle the situation.
6. Communicate appropriately. Make sure that you are speaking to your ex directly. Don't force your child to act as a messenger between you and your ex since this can put your child in a difficult spot.
7. Keep the focus on your child. Your child is the focus of the child custody agreement. The child custody matters shouldn't be used as a way to get back at your ex for the things that he or she did to you. Always do what is best for your child.