Tips for timesharing to make your life easier
Timesharing can be very challenging. Whether your family lawyer got you through your divorce relatively unscathed or you still have a few bumps and bruises it is likely you will have some challenges with managing the custody or timesharing of your children. There is a reason you are no longer married to your former spouse but with shared kids you must continue to work together and co-parent.
Co-parenting means parenting together. Many former spouses are awarded “shared parental authority” but don’t understand what it means. Bottom line: you must work with your former spouse to parent your children together for the best interest of the children, not for your best interest. Here are some tips:
- Keep a log or journal even if things are going along swimmingly. A log or journal of significant events related to your divorce, the kids, timesharing, school, medical appointments is something you may or may not need. If you never need it but you did it – points for you. If you do need it – due to some disagreement – you can’t recreate it. Do it, be faithful about it and hope you never need it.
- Be flexible. But don’t be a doormat. Changes to timesharing schedules are going to happen. Make it easiest on the kids and be flexible. This doesn’t mean that every time something comes up you have to hop up and fix the problem. Carefully consider what is happening, what the request from your former spouse includes and how you can best respond as a co-parent.
- Don’t threaten or respond to threats. Don’t push the emotional buttons of your ex-wife or ex-husband just because you can. Be respectful of new relationships of the former spouse and the new relationships your kids may develop with children in the other parent’s neighborhood or new cousins from a recent re-marriage.
- Remember that you want to be the parent who is at the wedding of the child or children and at the birth of your grandchildren and all the other wonderful occasions that being a great co-parent will open up to you for many years beyond the kids’ 18th birthdays.
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