Intense disagreements typically come with the territory if you share custody of your underage children as a former romantic part. No matter how calm and considerate you try to be while co-parenting with your ex, the two of you will inevitably disagree about some issues.
Maybe your child wants to try out for a full-contact sport and you oppose that choice, or perhaps there is a disagreement about the medical care that your child requires. Perhaps there’s just an issue with your ex constantly showing up late for custody exchanges.
Inevitably, there will be conflict between the two of you, but you can draft your parenting plan to minimize the amount of conflict you have and how much it affects your relationship or your children. How can the planning stage for shared custody lead to a more peaceful co-parenting relationship?
- You can address every major issue
The more thorough you are while creating your parenting plan, the less likely you are to have issues arise for which you do not have rules already in place.
From creating a very comprehensive parenting schedule that addresses everything from a child falling sick on a transition day to summer vacations to having rules for who will pay for the children’s orthodontia or sports expenses, the more details that you address and your parenting plan, the less likely you are to get into disagreements later about unexpected situations.
- You can have a plan in place for conflict
Recognizing that some kind of dispute is inevitable is a very responsible approach to co-parenting. Instead of hoping for the best, you can plan for the worst. Discuss how the two of you will navigate a disagreement and how you will resolve it.
Will you communicate in writing? Do you have someone, like a co-parenting therapist or a minister, who can serve as an intermediary in the dispute? The better your plan for addressing disagreements, the easier it will be for the two of you to minimize conflict even when you disagree about something important related to the children.
- You can standardize your rules and expectations
If the children are subject to two different sets of rules or a different curfew at each house, there might be friction not only between you and the children because of those differences but also between the two of you.
When parents have the same rules that both houses and consistently enforce the same standards for their children, they will be less likely to disagree with one another. It also reduces the likelihood of older children manipulating the two of you by playing you against each other.
Creating a parenting plan that addresses the likely challenges you will face while sharing custody will help your whole family adjust to your new circumstances.