Custody Arrangements: Making the Most of What You've Got

Although custody arrangements are finalized, smooth sailing from that point on isn't. With primary custody comes the dilemma of keeping the parent living outside the home involved in the children's lives. The parent who lives outside the home may be battling feelings of loneliness. She may wonder how to remain a part of her child's life without day to day visits. This can be further complicated if miles lie between a parent and her child.

Parents who have a joint custody arrangement face the challenge of creating balance and similar rules between two households. They attempt this while trying to maintain a strong sense of security in both homes.

Unfortunately, there are no written guidelines to make these arrangements easier. Following are some ideas to help you. Not all of them will be applicable to your family form. Try the ideas that make the most sense for you.

Sole Custody

Keeping The Other Parent Involved

It is a difficult task to not let your feelings for your ex influence his visiting arrangements. Many times a parent is angry, hurt and resentful. Visitation can become a means of getting back at your ex-partner. Sometimes this is a conscious choice, but most often it occurs subconsciously.

Your feelings aren't necessarily your child's. Your child has the right to form his own decisions and the right to see and love both of his parents. You can help by encouraging the other parent to remain in your child's life. Doing this isn't easy. It requires you to put your feelings aside and to focus on your child's needs.

Your encouragement is important. The non-custodial parent may be feeling cast aside, unneeded or unimportant. These feelings may cause him to not pursue a relationship with his children. Instead of waiting on him, try to encourage his visitation. Remember, you are focusing on your children now.

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