After finalizing the terms of child custody in a divorce, parents must prepare themselves for the challenges of co-parenting. Although each co-parenting relationship is unique, common challenges can be identified and addressed early on to preserve the child’s best interests. While joint custody agreements offer numerous benefits, they also present various challenges for parents to overcome as they share the responsibility of raising their children after the divorce. If you’ve opted for a joint custody arrangement, please don’t hesitate to contact a proficient Suffolk County Child Custody Attorney who can help you prioritize your child’s well-being.
What Are the Challenges of Co-Parenting in a Joint Custody Arrangement in New York?
Co-parenting can be challenging when prior disagreements and lingering hurt feelings still exist. However, it’s imperative to establish a new relationship built on communication to ensure your child’s best interests are met. Sharing childcare responsibilities can be challenging, as parents must accept each other’s parenting style, home environment, and schedules to integrate them with their own. With that said, the following are two of the most common challenges parents face in a joint custody arrangement:
- Discipline differences: It’s common for parenting styles to become more evident after divorce, including how to discipline and set rules in the home. If children have to live by two different standards of conduct at each parent’s house, this inconsistency will confuse them and may send them the wrong message. Children need stability. Therefore, you must do your best to stay consistent with the rules that must be followed in each household and the appropriate punishments. For instance, if the child breaks the rules in one home and is disciplined by being grounded for a week, the other parent should choose to uphold that discipline when the child transitions to their home for their week of custody. Having both parents on the same page will give the child the consistency they need.
- Communication: With any custody arrangement, parents will likely face communication issues. Even if your divorce begins amicably, one disagreement regarding child care can turn it into a contested one. When there are hard feelings, one parent may refuse to compromise. However, co-parenting in a joint custody arrangement hinges upon the ability of both parents to communicate. Parents must do their best to use effective communication and cooperate to foster a healthy co-parenting relationship, enabling them to make joint decisions in the best interest of their child.
Joint custody arrangements offer both advantages and challenges. By understanding the common obstacles parents face, you can take the necessary measures to overcome these challenges and prioritize your child’s overall well-being. At The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., we are prepared to help you protect your family.