Whenever possible, it is in your child’s best interest to resolve child custody matters amicably and to maintain a positive relationship with your child’s other parent. There are steps you can take to achieve this.
Communication between parents
First, it’s important for both parents to talk to each other and be willing to work together for the child’s benefit. Their focus should be on creating the most loving and stable environment possible for the child.
If you are initially having difficulty communicating, you may want to consider participating in mediation where a neutral third party can help facilitate discussions with you and your co-parent. These discussions can resolve the custody schedule, including visitation, holidays and school breaks.
It’s important to be flexible and remain respectful toward your co-parent. Once you reach an agreement about custody, you and your co-parent can put it in writing. You may be required to submit the agreement to the court and it’s helpful to have a copy to refer to later.
Communication with your child
If your child is old enough to understand what custody means, it may be helpful to talk with them about the situation. You can start by using age-appropriate language to reassure them that they did not do anything wrong and reinforce that you and your co-parent love them.
Your child may have questions about whether the custody arrangement will change their routine or social connections in school and in the community. It’s important that your child feels supported and that they can express their feelings as well as ask additional questions.