Parents in Florida often have worries about how they will share the parenting duties with their former spouses after divorcing, especially as they will no longer live in the same homes. Transitioning to co-parenting can be confusing and difficult, but many people enjoy great success with joint custody or visitation. By keeping a few principles at the forefront, individuals can help protect their children and maintain positive, supportive relationships.

The children’s best interests need to come first, and this consideration can often cause people to remain in bad marriages for years before finally deciding to divorce. Putting the kids first doesn’t have to mean staying together. Instead, it means providing a supportive experience for the children that nurtures their relationship with the other parent despite the adult disputes that may exist. In addition, it can be important to protect the children from the details of the divorce. While it is important to be honest with children, this does not mean providing intimate details or information that could disparage the other parent.

On the practical side, communication is key to successful co-parenting. Both the parents and the kids will need to constantly update a shared calendar to keep custody plans, family events, school programs and medical appointments in view of all family members. Planning in advance can help prevent difficulties and miscommunication from occurring. At the same time, flexibility can be a lifesaver. When emergencies come up, it can help the children feel supported when their parents can be flexible with plans.

When people are considering getting divorced, how to handle their children is often forefront in their minds whether they are struggling over custody or ready to come to an amicable agreement. A Venice, Florida, child custody law firm can help a divorcing parent protect his or her parent-child relationship and work to achieve a fair custody schedule and a positive parenting plan.