Child custody and parenting arrangements are two of the biggest issues that come up during divorce for many couples in Indiana. If you are getting ready to file the divorce paperwork, you may find the idea of your children living in a household other than yours terrifying. Though you may have your reasons for not wanting your spouse to receive a fair share of the parenting responsibilities and time with kids, you know the decision is based on much more than your wishes.
Divorce does not mean custody arrangements must involve litigation. If you and your spouse can work the details out with minimal court involvement, you could spare yourself and the kids some divorce drama. Here are a few pointers to help you and your soon-to-be ex-partner create a custody arrangement that works for everyone.
The decision is not about you
Child custody and co-parenting arrangements are for the benefit of the children. As a parent, you must arrange your life so that you can provide your kids with the structure and security they need to grow into healthy and productive adults. A contentious divorce or child custody battle can have a negative effect on their well-being. It can also damage the bonds between children and parents and make it more challenging for everyone to move on past the divorce. The divorce is about you, but the child custody and parenting schedule is about your kids, so continue to put them first when dealing with parenting and custody issues.
Communication helps everyone
Communication is critical to any relationship, especially one that is changing because of divorce. You and your spouse should carefully develop a co-parenting plan that includes considerations for your parenting styles and everyone's needs. For example, your parenting schedule may include you having the kids every other weekend because you know their other parent works during that time and is unable to spend much time with them. Maintaining good communication can help influence your children’s view of the split and their new living arrangements, prevent complications and create positive co-parenting experiences.