A parent engaged in trying to work out a satisfactory joint custody arrangement concerning their children with their soon-to-be ex-spouse may find the task challenging. Working out the intricate arrangements necessary to create a good child custody solution takes effort and often requires that a parent take an honest look at their own behavior and motivation.
This may sometimes require asking the difficult question of whether their own attitude or mode of communication is unnecessarily intensifying the conflict in ways that do not contribute to finding a solution. Using the negotiation of child custody arrangements as a forum to express anger or bitterness toward the other parent can be unproductive. It can also result in unintended escalation of the conflict. Similarly, avoiding a frank and honest exchange over the nature of key conflicts concerning the children may allow a problem to fester until it is difficult to untangle.
It is best when trying to honestly resolve child custody conflicts to avoid either placing blame on the other parent for the difficulties or acting in a guilty manner. The point of trying to move forward, after all, is to try to ensure the healthiest and most productive environment for the children, and hopefully one that will not be too stressful for either parent. The divorce clearly is happening, so the goal should be making the best of it under the circumstances.
The reality is that divorcing parents will necessarily have to communicate and work together to some extent for an extended period of years when it comes to the issues concerning their children. Recognizing this at the beginning should help avoid unnecessary antagonism that might “poison the well” for the long haul.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The Joint Custody Conflict Solution,” Judy Corcoran and Julie A. Ross, Aug. 14, 2012
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