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How can you make joint custody work for your family?

Parenting after divorce is not an easy process, but the decisions that you make during divorce can make it easier for every member of the family. Florida parents often choose to parent cooperatively through a joint custody agreement, and while this will not work well for every family, it could be a positive decision for yours.

If you choose to work on a joint custody arrangement, it will require a willingness from both parents to set aside differences and work cooperatively for the best interests of the kids. With preparation, planning and dedication, you and your child's other parent can make joint custody work long into the future. 

What you can do to make joint custody easier

Joint custody is not always easy, especially for two parents who are going through or recently went through a difficult divorce. However, children benefit when they can maintain strong relationships with both parents, and for this reason, parents may strive to make the end of their marriage easier for the kids. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to make this process smoother for every member of the family, including:

  • Agree not to speak negatively about the other parent in front of the children.
  • Set visitation schedules that are realistic and sustainable.
  • Always elevate the well-being of the kids over disagreements with an ex.
  • Consider the kids' ages, activities, needs and preferences in your parenting plan.
  • Be willing to allow the other parent to take advantage of his or her parental rights.
  • Have a set plan for communication, drop-off, pick-up and more.
  • Allow children to express their concerns and needs regarding custody, visitation and parental relationships.
  • Make adjustments as needed if it is in the interests of the kids.

These guidelines may help you draft a parenting plan that is both fair and workable for all parties. With thoughtfulness and consideration for the kids' current and future needs, a joint custody arrangement can work quite well.

Starting with a strong foundation

The foundation of any positive and sustainable custody plan is a solid custody order. If you wish to draft an agreement out of court or fight for a reasonable custody order, you would be wise to work closely with an attorney who can help you develop and negotiate a plan that both protects your parental rights and the best interests of your kids.

Starting with a good custody plan is the key to avoiding complications in the future, along with a desire to parent cooperatively for the sake of your kids. With the right guidance and legal support, this is possible for your family.

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