Parenting is definitely not without its challenges as most Arizona parents can attest. If you're getting divorced, you may encounter some problematic issues regarding child custody or finances having to do with your kids. Preparing a co-parenting plan can be stressful as well, especially if you and your spouse disagree on certain things. Your divorce doesn't necessarily have to ruin your family life. There are several ways to reduce stress in a shared custody situation.
It's crucial for both parents to be willing to cooperate and work as a team. You may no longer reside in the same household but you will always have your children in common with your ex, so the more you work together to help them adapt to their new lifestyle, the less stressful your co-parenting arrangement may be.
Keep adult issues between adults
Things can quickly go awry when parents start dragging their kids into their issues or try to make their children choose between them. Instead of asking kids where they want to live or which parent they'd rather spend a holiday with, it's best if adults discuss such matters in private. If children feel responsible for such decisions, it can cause them stress or confusion because they love both parents and are likely unsure what to say or do when torn between them.
Keep the lines of communication open
You don't have to engage in small talk every time you see your ex. However, it is important to make yourself available for discussion and to stay in contact regarding child-related issues. If your kids are staying with you and your ex needs to speak with them but you forbid it, it can lead to some nasty legal problems. It's also respectful to share travel plans and to keep each other updated on your kids' activities when they're in your care.
Adhere to existing court orders
Getting a court order is always best when it comes to shared custody arrangements. Once the court issues such an order, you and your ex are legally obligated to adhere to it. It's a lot less stressful for everyone involved if both parents stick to their agreement. If your spouse refuses to do that, you definitely do not have to sit back and do nothing. You can bring the matter to the immediate attention of the court.
Children's best interests are the central focus
When you divorce in an Arizona court, it's understandable that you want to make sure you get a fair shake during property division proceedings. It's also logical to assume to that you and your spouse both want what's best for your children. It's not uncommon for parents to disagree on how to interpret that in a given circumstance, which is why it pays to seek additional legal support as needed.