For Arkansas couples who are divorcing, child custody is one of the most common causes of disputes. In many cases, parents are ordered to share custody of their children. Navigating joint custody can sometimes be complicated, but there are strategies for success for preventing contentious disagreement between co-parents.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody requires that ex-spouses work together to care for their children. That refers to both physical and legal custody issues, including:

  • Where the children will reside and when
  • Schooling
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Medical treatment

Taking certain steps can be beneficial to maintaining a cordial relationship and serving a child’s best interests. Since the marriage ended in divorce, there may be lingering hard feelings. This should not be expressed to the child in any way as it might force him or her to pick sides. Often, parents focus on themselves when dealing with their children. Remembering that the kids should be prioritized can help parents avoid letting their personal feelings and interests interfere.

Custody decisions should be tailored to your children’s needs

Joint custody requires cohesion between the parents. That means having realistic scheduling and organizing. The children are paramount, and the custody agreement should be tailored to their needs. The child’s age, the parents’ schedules, what the child requires academically and in his or her free time, and the distance between the parents’ residences should all be taken into consideration. Even though the marriage ended in divorce, it does not imply ineffective parenting. The children must be reassured that both parents care and are involved. Communication is necessary when sharing custody, and it is important to avoid letting past tensions reassert themselves.

Productively addressing any disagreements

Discussion and flexibility can help with disagreements. The child should be given a voice in the relationship with issues addressed as soon as possible. Finally, the custody arrangement can be altered as needed. For example, if there is an event a parent wants to take the child to, and the parenting schedule must be adjusted, allowing it can stoke goodwill. Family law matters can spark challenges, but child custody is especially complex. For this and any other problem that arises with a divorce, legal assistance may be useful to reach a satisfactory outcome.