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Remaining flexible during child custody challenges

Many Colorado parents enter into custody negotiations with the idea that once the paperwork is signed, the division of parenting time will be set in stone and that there will be no need for further discussion on the matter. In reality, however, most families use their child custody agreement as a guideline and make adjustments accordingly. For parents who do not have a collaborative relationship with each other, handling child custody changes can be difficult. When parents can be flexible and reasonable, kids benefit. This makes it important for parents to try and find a way to work out scheduling issues in a way that is free of conflict.

In some cases, custody changes are requested by the parents for reasons that support their own needs. An example would be a request to swap weekends so that a child can attend a family member's wedding. While this type of request is often a greater favor to the parent than to the child, it is important to work with the other parent to the greatest degree possible. Not only does doing so give children a model of good problem resolution, there will likely come a day when that favor needs to be returned.  

As children grow older, their schedules become far more complicated. At that point, schedule change requests are often made in an effort to get kids where they need to be for sporting events, extracurricular activities or social events. In such cases, many parents want to hold on to their scheduled time because their kids are spending more and more time away from home. It is important to be flexible when considering requests to alter the schedule, however, and to make an effort to ensure that the other parent is also getting a fair share of time with the kids.

Flexibility is key to reaching a co-parenting relationship that is mutually beneficial. While it may be difficult to work with the other parent to address scheduling issues, the end result can be positive for all involved. Colorado parents should try to adhere to the basic structure of the existing child custody agreement while remaining open to making changes that are reasonable and in line with the needs of the divided family.

Source: The Huffington Post, "5 Common Post Divorce Parenting Mistakes", Hanif Virani, Feb. 19, 2016

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