There was a time when the courts automatically gave custody of the children to the mother. It was believed that mothers were better at nurturing young children. Times have changed, though. Today, courts are more likely to rule that children should spend equal time with both parents. Unfortunately, that arrangement can often create a logistical nightmare for both parents. If you've recently divorced, and the judge has ordered joint custody, there are ways to ensure that your children grow up to have a loving relationship with both parents. Here are a few options for creating a workable joint custody living arrangement for your kids.
If you and your ex share joint custody of your kids, you need to devise a plan that allow your kids the opportunity to live with both parents. Creating a homelike atmosphere for your kids at both homes is a positive way of showing your kids that you and your ex both want them. When you choose the child-rotation option, you'll need to set up a schedule that allows your kids to spend an equal amount of time at both homes.
For instance, rotating weeks will have your kids switching homes each week. Another alternative to this plan is to divide the days of the week. For instance, you could set up a two-two-two-three schedule. This schedule would have your kids staying at one home on Monday and Tuesday, the other home on Wednesday and Thursday, and then switching again for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The benefit of this schedule is that each parent gets the opportunity to spend a three-day weekend with the kids. This schedule also works well for small children who might not be old enough to spend an entire week away from mom or dad.
Parental rotation is probably the best way to foster a positive shared-parenting relationship. With parental rotation, the children stay in their home and the parents come and go. This creates an atmosphere where the children are able to stay where they're comfortable, without the constant need to uproot to new surroundings. If you and your ex are on amicable terms, you can rent an apartment that you will both rotate out of. This gives you the opportunity to set up housekeeping for yourself, while still being mobile enough to spend time in the family home.
If you and your ex will be sharing custody of your children, you need to create an environment that works best for your kids. The information provided here will help you choose an option that will allow your kids to maintain a healthy, loving relationship with both of their parents. For assistance, talk to a family law expert.