When you divorce your spouse, having to continue seeing them regularly is probably the last thing you want to do. If you have children together, though, you have to look past your own desires to think about what is best for them.
Beyond this, even if you do not want to share custody, the reality is that you will most likely have to. The state of Florida believes that it is in the best interest of children to be raised by both parents in all but the most extreme cases.
This new arrangement certainly has drawbacks for you, but there are also positive things about agreeing to joint custody rather than fighting to have your kids all to yourself or sticking with your spouse when things aren’t working.
Ways That Sharing Custody with Your Ex Can Be a Good Thing
Less Fighting in the Household. In the months or years leading up to your divorce, your child may have experienced a lot of tension and unease between their two parents. Children have a harder time detaching themselves from tension and upsetting situations, and your arguing undoubtedly had some sort of effect on your child.
Now that you and your ex live in separate spaces, your child has the opportunity to spend time with you and your ex in a situation that is more peaceful and calm. Your children don’t have to take sides in front of both of you, and they know that the other parent will be waiting to see them soon.
They are Not the Subject of Legal Matters Anymore. During a divorce, there may be a lot of pressure placed on the child. Florida aims to assign fair (rather than equal) parenting time, and the child’s input may be needed to make that decision. Now that the parenting time schedule is set and the child knows where he or she is going day-to-day, they can relax.
Time to Heal. Divorce is no easy process, and it is hard to provide for a child when you are still reeling from the trauma and pain of separating from your spouse. While you may not admit that you need time to yourself, you can still take advantage of this opportunity when your child is with your ex.
Enjoy the time you have by yourself to focus on your needs and your healing process. Ever heard the phrase “You cannot pour from an empty glass”? Take the time away from your children to refill your glass.
Additional Source of Childcare. Single parenthood is extremely tough. Finding childcare for even just a few hours to run errands can become a stressful event. With joint custody, you have another parent to rely on if you need someone to watch your child (and they won’t even cost you a penny). Just remember to return the favor. If you and your ex can stay flexible and offer help every now and again, you can start to repair your relationship.
Additional Input. Joint custody involves more than just living with your child. You and your ex have to make decisions together about your child’s health, education, and more.
While you may not always want additional input from your ex, consider the fact that you may not see all sides of your child. They may act a different way around your ex, and he or she can provide a second set of eyes to help you make the best decision about your child.
The Chance to Find Closure. Maybe you don’t initially want to get along with your ex. After a while, however, it may be helpful to forgive and find closure. This is easier said than done, but it can be done easier if you are constantly seeing your ex and have something to talk about. No matter what led to your divorce, you and your ex still have one thing in common: the love of your child.
How to Arrange a Parenting Plan That Will Suit Both Parents
If you are still arranging a parenting plan, the benefits of joint custody may seem very far away. As you go through the process of getting a divorce, however, know that it is possible to have a joint custody agreement that will satisfy both parents, and ultimately benefit your child.
In Florida, parents have to agree on a parenting plan that will satisfy each parent and arrange parenting time. This process is not always easy if you are not getting along with your ex. For more information on how to negotiate a parenting plan that will satisfy you, your ex, and the state of Florida, consult a Florida family lawyer.