How to Make Joint Custody in Michigan Work

All parents want the best for their children, but during a divorce and subsequent custody proceedings, tension can run high and emotions can get the best of people, causing them to act in ways they wouldn’t normally. However, responsible adults need to take a step back and think about the impact they’re having on their kids when they engage in contentious behavior with an ex-spouse.

There are ways for parents to come together with the common goal of minimizing the impact of divorce on children. When parents can agree to put kids first, there is common ground to build on, and remembering the welfare of children is a great starting point for making a joint custody arrangement work. Here are just a few ways Michigan families can build on this ideal in order to ease the transition from married to divorced life for any children involved.

Create a Workable Arrangement
In truly contentious divorce cases, a judge can settle differences by creating a strict schedule for parenting time, but this might not be to the benefit of either parent, or the kids, in the long run. It’s always better if parents can work out an arrangement for parenting time on their own so that scheduling and transitions create the least possible impact on both households. Parents should also take this opportunity to consider how they will split up holidays, vacation time, and other events and activities for which both parents might want children present.

Communicate Effectively
Not all divorced couples will be able to communicate openly and effectively following a divorce. With hurt feelings on both sides, communication could be understandably tricky. However, putting the kids first means at least trying to communicate in a civil manner on matters that affect the children. What parents should never do is use the kids as go-betweens for delivering messages. Kids are not adults and should not be put in the position of acting as the adult in the situation.

Always Try to Be Respectful
No matter how ex-spouses feel about each other, kids don’t need to see their parents behaving badly, either to each other, or in reference to each other. Parents that want to make joint custody work need to adopt a respectful tone when dealing with or talking about their ex.

Stay Involved
Parents might think the best thing to do is act normal around kids, but the truth is that children are going to be hurt and confused by divorce. They may have lingering feelings of guilt, sadness, and anger that take time to work through.

One thing parents need to do is not only give children time to work through their feelings, but ensure they have a platform to talk about them. If parents try to push things under the rug, kids may feel that they have no outlet to discuss their feelings. Counseling can help, but it’s also important for parents to keep the lines of communication with kids open and to encourage them to talk about what they’re going through.

Divorce is a complex and painful process, especially when children are involved. Parents interested in joint custody for the benefit of children should seek expert advice and related legal services as needed from the qualified attorneys at The Gucciardo Law Firm. Contact us today at 248-723-5190.

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