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Working out child custody arrangements with your ex

A divorce sends your life into a state of the unknown. It also sends your child's life into a constant state of change. One thing that you can do for your child is to try to get the child custody issues resolved quickly so that your child can begin to settle into a "new normal" way of life.

Working out the child custody matters with your ex can be difficult, especially when you don't agree on everything. There are certain things that you can do to make this process a bit easier.

Keep the children as the focus

Don't try to use your children to get back at your ex for anything that happened during the marriage or divorce. Your children are innocent parties in a difficult situation. Instead of focusing on you and your ex, focus strictly on what is best for the children. Don't be afraid to admit that your ex has good ideas about how to work out the issues. By working together in a peaceful manner now, you are setting the tone for your parenting relationship.

Seek the child's input if possible

There are some issues that your children might like a say in. If your children are old enough to make their wishes known, give them a chance to say what they would like to see happen. Children can sometimes have good solutions to problems. If you opt to do this, make sure that you don't make the child choose between you or your ex. Instead, keep the decisions objective and don't put pressure on the child.

Be willing to negotiate on matters

You might want your child to be with you on Christmas or another holiday. This is understandable. However, if your family usually celebrates Christmas Eve and your ex's family usually celebrates Christmas Day, it might be best for the child to spend Christmas Day with your ex. Think about how the holidays have always been spent and use this to help guide your child custody agreement.

Consider co-parenting

If you and your ex can remain cordial, consider co-parenting. In this arrangement, you and your ex would spend time together with your child. You would work together to make decisions. This child custody arrangement could help your children since they could have shared memories with both parents instead of having two distinct sets of memories -- one with each parent.

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