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Easing into joint child custody for divorced Pennsylvania parents

Although couples who have recently divorced may not agree on everything, they can definitely agree on wanting the best for their children. With the children's well-being in mind, Pennsylvania parents can try to create a solid foundation for co-parenting. It seems that agreeing to the terms of shared child custody requires both parents being able to communicate with one another effectively. Some tips toward successful co-parenting were outlined in a recent Huffington Post article.

First off, newly divorced parents are advised to always keep their promises of being on time to their children. This appears to be a key factor in gaining a child's trust after experiencing the changes of divorce. Although the child may sometimes want to change their schedule and stay with one parent longer than planned, their wishes should be heard and considered by both parents. It doesn't mean that they prefer one parent over the other, and it may simply be due to unexpected social activities with friends. Aside from these types of requests from the child, the parent responsible for picking up the child should always keep to the arranged transfer time.

Communication is also key, however parents should try to stick to sharing information related to the child. Sharing unrelated personal feelings, events that occurred or other discussions between the divorced parents is not necessary. It may also cause unwanted stress or negative feelings at such an early point in the post-divorce process. Pertinent information that needs to be shared includes any medical issues the child may be having, any problems or any positive news from school. Keeping the focus on a child's successes and accomplishments seems to continue the child's transitioning between homes.

To effectively abide by the terms of child custody arrangements, both parents should allow time for preparation. If the other parent is not doing their part by giving advance notice for sudden major changes in the arranged schedule, an adjustment to the custody arrangements may be necessary. Pennsylvania parents that find it difficult to come to a mutual agreement that best suits their children may benefit from intervention. In some cases, it may be necessary to bring in an objective third party in order to find resolution.

Source: Huffington Post, "The 5 C's of Divorced Co-Parenting," Marie Hartwell-Walker, July 6, 2012

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