You might be one of many Virginia parents who are currently navigating a divorce. You might also be able to relate to parents who are worried that their decision to divorce will result in child custody disagreements. Getting a divorce just before summertime can be especially challenging regarding custody matters, such as whether or not you’ll be able to take your kids to the beach without your ex’s approval.
Do you have any friends who have successfully created an amicable co-parenting plan as part of their divorce or separation? If so, you might want to ask for recommendations as to how you and your co-parent can avoid disputes this summer. In the meantime, there are several key issues to keep in mind that may help minimize co-parenting stress.
Incorporate all important issues into your written terms of the agreement
When a court judge issues a child custody order, you and your ex are both obligated to adhere to its terms. However, you can customize your co-parenting agreement to meet your family’s unique needs and goals. For instance, you can state in your agreement that either parent may take the kids on vacation as long as he or she gives the other parent some type of advanced notice of the trip.
Allow children to share their feelings and opinions
Considering as a child’s (who is old enough to understand and discuss an issue) preference is about a specific matter can not only save you time and effort but may help avoid co-parenting stress, too. If you and your ex can’t decide between several options, such as where the kids should live during summer vacation from school, you can consider the child’s preferences as long as doing so does not place an undue burden on the child.
Working together as a team and as a family can help avoid child custody problems in a divorce. It’s also helpful if you try to be flexible regarding each other’s personal lives. Perhaps your ex was supposed to have custody on a specific weekend, and an opportunity for a special summer event comes up that you’d like to share with them. Your kids will benefit from witnessing their parents’ willingness to cooperate for their sake.
What if cooperation isn’t working out?
Child custody problems can arise if one parent refuses to cooperate or is disregarding a court order. This can make life stressful for everyone involved. You should never hesitate to reach out for additional support when you’re unable to resolve a specific legal issue on your own.