Sharing Is Caring: 6 Tips to Help You Adapt and Thrive With Shared Custody

Shared custody between former partners can present challenges to some parents, as they balance their child’s needs with their own, all while navigating relations with a former spouse. Sharing your children’s time can be a fruitful and rewarding experience for parents if they utilize the following 6 tips on adapting and thriving with shared custody.

1) Be the bigger person

When a couple separates or divorces, oftentimes there are hard feelings between the former partners and this animosity can easily spill over into custody arrangements. Refrain from criticizing your former spouse in front of your child and don’t let negative actions cause you to stoop to their level in retaliation.  It is important that you show your child that you and your former can still work together and be civil, remember, kids watch everything you do, be a good role model.

2) Set a realistic custody arrangement

Have realistic expectations for your custody arrangement. Avoid overextending yourself and be willing to compromise when necessary. Be cognizant of both your schedule and your former spouse’s, and try to be as fair as possible when splitting duties such as transportation to sports practices or other activities.

3) Be kind to yourself

Embrace “you time” without the children: when your former spouse has custody, take the time to pamper yourself with a favorite hobby or time out with friends. By taking breaks from parenting, you will be recharged and refreshed when it is time to switch custody, making you a happier person and a better parent.  

4) Communicate

Communication with your former spouse is important. Instead of rehashing old grievances, focus your communication efforts on discussing your child. Likewise, avoid emotional responses and stick to the facts.

5) Establish continuity

Living in two separate homes can be stressful for a child. You can establish continuity from one home to the next by ensuring that personal items and routines are followed in both homes. You may want to make sure each home has your child’s favorite snacks, toys, and sentimental objects available to them to help ease the transition. Further, sticking to the same schedule will help your child feel more stable: bedtime and early morning routines should be followed whenever possible.

6) Be open to change

Custody arrangements may need to be modified over time as your child grows and his or her needs change. Embrace these changes by adjusting your custody arrangement periodically when needed.

We help Washington parents thrive with shared custody

At Bliss Law Group, we are here for our Washington clients throughout every step of the custody process. For more information on shared custody or one of our other practice areas, please visit us online at or via telephone at (253) 844-4412.

Written by Bliss Law Group