If you are headed toward divorce, chances are good that you don’t agree with your ex on money issues. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your ex is a bad parent. It is important to remember that your children’s needs should come first in all custody proceedings.
While you may have strong feelings about needing to share custody with your ex, your children will probably benefit from a shared custody situation. Focusing on the best interest of your children and their developmental needs is one of the best ways to minimize the negative consequences of divorce on your children.
Shared custody is the new normal in most Texas divorces
The courts will do everything in their power to ensure the outcome of your divorce is fair for everyone involved. When it comes to child custody decisions, the guiding factor should always be the best interest of the children. The courts focus on what will be healthy and stable for your children, not what you and your ex want in the divorce.
Typically, shared custody is the go-to arrangement for courts in stable family situations. However, there are scenarios in which one parent may receive primary or full custody of the children. These situations include serious substance abuse, a history of child abuse or concerning neglect. A lack of stability, such as not having a job or a place to live, could also impact custody proceedings.
Barring any of those extreme circumstances, you can expect the courts to divide custody and parental responsibilities between you and your ex. You will need to put effort into developing a healthy co-parenting relationship.
Your focus should be on protecting your children
Divorce is hard on kids. Their entire world changes when their family shifts. The best thing you and your ex can do is agree to insulate your children from the drama and emotion of your divorce. You should never discuss the divorce, visitation or child support with your children.
Those are discussions for you and your ex or you and a trusted friend. Similarly, you should not belittle your ex to your children. Doing that could harm their relationship with the other parent or harm their relationship with you.
A thorough parenting plan can help as well
Ideally, you and your ex can work out a parenting plan that has specific guidelines in place for common parenting concerns. Everything from bedtimes and curfews to the number of hours your child can play video games can feature in your parenting plan.
Being on the same page with your ex about parenting can help ensure consistent rules and enforcement for your children. That consistency will make it easier for them to adjust. It will also make parenting easier for you and your ex, because you won’t have to worry about the children playing you against one another.
Divorce isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be extremely difficult on your children. As long as you and your ex keep your focus on your kids’ needs and well-being, you should be able to work through any custody issues that arise without inflicting emotional distress on the children.