Joint custody for Tennessee parents can be hard to pull off even under the best circumstances, but that is not to say it is impossible. By incorporating certain tips and best practices, parents can work together for the good of the children and co-parent successfully.
The central premise of any joint custody arrangement is that everything is about the children. Their interests must come first and should be considered at all times. Ideally, this means that the children will be given a voice and be listened to for major decisions such as the custody schedule. When choosing the best arrangement, it is important to consider the children’s own situation as opposed to trying to impose a schedule just because it is convenient for the parents.
Communication is another pillar of joint custody. Even if the parents were not able to communicate well when they were married, they need to learn to talk to each other as co-parents. It involves showing respect for the other’s parenting abilities. It also means knowing when to walk away from certain conflicts because very few fights are worth having. Finally, parents need to be flexible, both in executing the custody schedule and considering changes to it when necessary. A schedule that works today may not fit as well in a year or two, so change is sometimes necessary.
A family law attorney may help their client start a joint custody arrangement on the right foot by helping to amicably negotiate the agreement. If the other parent will not settle the case or agree to anything, the attorney may take the case to court and fight on behalf of their client. However, it is best to make a strong attempt to negotiate an agreement because that is better for the children.