The job of being a parent is one of the most important duties you will ever have. This is particularly true for divorced parents who share joint custody of their children. That’s because children of divorce sometimes feel responsible for their parents splitting up. Although the effects of divorce on children can be somewhat hard to gauge, the experts generally agree that a hostile relationship between you and your ex-spouse can negatively impact your children.
In a typical joint custody arrangement the parent which does not provide the primary residence for the children is often referred to as the noncustodial parent. As a noncustodial parent there are several things you can do to ensure a smooth relationship with your ex-spouse while also cementing the bond with your children.
One of the key things to remember is to always maintain a businesslike demeanor with your ex-spouse. Try to be courteous and remain civil when you are picking up or dropping off your kids. It’s also a good idea for you and your ex-spouse to get on the same page when it comes to disciplining your children. You may enjoy being the “cool” parent but the reality is that a disjointed approach to discipline can actually confuse your children and may even cause them to unnecessarily resent their other parent.
For noncustodial parents it’s also a good idea to try to avoid being the so-called “Disney-Dad.” This is the parent who is constantly taking one’s kids to expensive amusement parks and turning visitations into extravagant outings. Many of these type of parents forget that engaging with their kids in normal activities is actually very beneficial to establishing good bonds.
Regardless of whether you are a noncustodial parent or you provide your children’s primary home, their health and safety is your top priority. Arizona laws allow family courts the discretion to modify existing child custody orders in certain situations.
Based in Phoenix, our law firm represents clients in a wide variety of family law matters including child custody modifications. With over 30 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys can assist with making sure that your child’s best interests are protected.