North Dakota parents may struggle to raise children under the best of circumstances because it is rarely easy. There is even more of a challenge when the parents are divorced and they have a joint custody agreement. However, there are some rules that they can keep for themselves to make their situation less difficult.
The foremost rule is to place the children front and center in every decision. This starts with setting the custody schedule and carries through to every conversation between the parents. If possible, the children should be given a voice to know that they are being heard. They should be consulted about the custody schedule if they are old enough.
The next rule is that communication must be done in a civil and respectful manner. One must make sure to separate what happened during the marriage from what is transpiring now as co-parents. The parents need to find a constructive way to communicate in a manner that reduces conflict and friction. Moreover, they should never disparage the other parent to the children. When it comes to conflict, it’s important to remember that not all arguments are worth having. Finally, each parent needs to be flexible enough to be able to readdress and change the custody agreement if changed circumstances call for it.
Working with a child custody attorney may be the first step toward coming to an agreement about joint custody that works for the children. The attorney may help their client move toward a divorce agreement that puts in place the conditions for a successful co-parenting relationship. The agreement may even touch on the ways that the parents will communicate so that they are able to put aside hostility and work together for the good of the children.