As a professional adult, you have likely experienced first-hand the difficulty that can arise from trying to balance your personal life with your professional one. Job demands can be unforgiving when you work as a lawyer, engineer or physician, to name a few professions.
Trying to carve out enough time for your spouse and kids when your family lives together can seem difficult. After a divorce, shared custody considerations can make life even more complicated for you and your family. Some professional parents worry that their career demands will prevent the courts from giving them a comfortable amount of parenting time when compared with their ex.
Others may worry that the shared custody terms set in the parenting plan could negatively impact their career. Although both of these scenarios are possible, the way that you approach shared custody with your ex and the courts will impact how much conflict you will experience going forward.
If you are flexible with your ex, they will be flexible with you
While there are certainly individuals who will abuse any attempt at cooperation, the average divorced adult is reasonable and wants to put their children first. Getting yourself on the same page as your ex by agreeing to focus on the kids and not your relationship with each other can drastically reduce the conflict you will experience when you share custody.
Being willing to work with your ex and change plans as issues arise will make them more likely to work with you when you need flexibility. Agreeing to reschedule a trip because your former in-laws are coming into town can later pay dividends if the school calls you on your custody day because a child is sick.
If you simply can’t get away from the office, you may be able to reach out to your ex and have them pick up your child instead. Mutual cooperation can reduce how stressful the divorce is on your kids and also the impact that shared custody has on your career.
Neutral communications are key to peaceful co-parenting
Even the best-intentioned person can make major mistakes when emotions are high. Divorce can bring out the worst in some people, but that doesn’t mean you have no options. Creating a communications buffer between you and your ex can substantially reduce the potential for conflict in the future.
There are a number of platforms that allow for digital communication between divorced or divorcing parents. You may even be able to handle all of your important discussions via text message or email. Not only will written communication give you a chance to review what you say before you send it, but it also provides an accurate record of what was said and what informal terms you agree to with one another.