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Tips to put your child at the heart of custody matters

Moving from married life to a co-parenting situation is challenging, but it isn't impossible. If you are in this position, you have to ensure that you are keeping the kids at the heart of every decision you make. Finding ways to do this can benefit you greatly, and it will also help your children.

Sometimes, people have to deal with a difficult ex or someone who just wants to make the situation even more challenging. In these cases, it can be rather hard to keep your focus where it needs to, but using these tips might help immensely.

Write out a parenting plan

Your parenting plan is the outline that you will follow for everything related to child custody. Be sure that you consider the terms carefully and that you have it as detailed as possible. This is especially important if your ex is one who likes to fight over everything since you won't have to argue over points that are already clear in the plan. Remember to set the terms according to what your kids need now since modifying it later is possible.

Ask the children their thoughts

Sometimes, getting input from the children can help you to make a decision that is in their best interests. For example, if you and your ex disagree about what extracurricular activities the child should participate in, you can ask the child what they want to do. Just remember that you don't have to discuss all decisions with the children.

Schedule private discussions

Always talk about contentious matters with your ex in private. These discussions shouldn't take place during the transfer of the children from one parent to the other or any other time when the kids are there. Most of the time, the youngsters shouldn't even know there was a disagreement. Your goal should be to present a united front with your co-parent.

Take time away when needed

Never make a decision when you are mad. If things have gotten heated with your ex, don't be afraid to say you need some time to think about things. You might not have long if the decision is a pressing matter, but you should be able to take at least a few minutes.

If things aren't resolvable between you and your ex, it might be time to turn to the court for a decision. This takes the control away from both of you and puts it into the hands of a neutral party. Be sure that you've exhausted all other options before you head to court.

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