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5 tips for parents with shared custody

As you and your spouse work your way through a divorce, you can tell that it is hard on the children. You think it will be better for them in the end, considering what your relationship with your spouse was like before, but you know that you need to focus on the kids moving forward. You have to make this whole transition as smooth as you can for them.

The key is to really think through the ways you can do this well in advance, so that every decision you make can center around the needs and best interests of the kids. Here are five tips that can help you as you and your spouse move into a shared custody parenting arrangement:

4 key points for parents living in different states

You and your significant other both lived in Connecticut when you got married. You had two children together and started to raise a family.

As your marriage fizzled out, though, your spouse began traveling a lot more. Eventually, he or she lived out of state most of the time, just coming back to visit. By the time you officially filed for divorce, you and your spouse lived in different states full time. You stayed in Connecticut with the kids, while your spouse lived elsewhere.

Why can you change a child custody order?

You have a 2-year-old child, and you and your ex split custody. You've been doing this for about a year now, ever since your divorce.

While it's worked out fairly well, you're wondering how you could get the order changed. Perhaps you want full custody. Maybe you do not like the custody schedule and the way your time gets divided.

2 ways to have fun with your preschooler on visitation day

So you just went through a six-month-long child custody battle. Just when you thought you'd never get to see your child again, the judge awarded you two weekends a month to spend with your toddler. You're thrilled, but you're also terrified. What will you do with each other? How will you spend your time together? Will your little boy or girl have fun with you, or will she be bored to tears?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your young child will love whatever you do together, as long as it's with you. Children adore their parents and they also help their parents know what kinds of things they enjoy.

Planning ahead: 4 child custody schedule examples

Your goal for your divorce is simple: Set up a child custody plan that puts your children first. Your spouse agrees. Whatever differences the two of you may have, you absolutely want what is best for the kids. You hope to both stay involved, and that means creating a viable schedule.

This schedule needs to fit with your own schedules. You have work, hobbies, peers, social lives and other obligations. However, the schedule also has to fit with the kids' lives. They may be involved in sports and other after-school activities, on top of going to classes. They're counting on you, and you don't want the divorce to make it impossible for them to keep doing what they love.

Is Alternative Dispute Resolution right for you?

You don't want to drag your spouse and your children through a court case. Your spouse agrees. Both of you want to get divorced, ending your 10-year marriage, but you want it to be simple and easy for all involved.

One option may be Alternative Dispute Resolution, or ADR. It can largely keep the case out of the courts, allowing you to reach an agreement on your own.

8 critical tips to work with your ex for the children's benefit

After 10 years of marriage, it's finally ending. Your spouse asked for a divorce. The last year has been pretty rocky, so you're actually happy to move on from the relationship.

That said, you and your spouse aren't on great terms. The last thing you feel like doing is working with him or her. You don't want to cooperate. You want the freedom to do whatever you want. Isn't that what divorce is all about?

You can achieve a calm, respectful divorce

Just because a marriage ends doesn't mean that the couple has to let it get ugly. Many couples realize at some point that they simply don't want to continue the relationship. If one or both spouses realize that a divorce can remain as calm and restful as they let it, it is entirely possible to achieve divorce without creating crisis.

A focus on civility and respect

Even in the face of great conflict, couples can choose to approach their divorce intentionally, to help each other move on and avoid the temptations to punish each other in the process. However, it is difficult for couples to navigate divorce together amicably without proper legal counsel. Even in instances where couples want to keep things civil, the difficulty of reaching fair divorce agreements that address every area that a complete divorce requires is considerable.

How do I modify my divorce orders?

In rare cases -- when the decision of a judge was obviously unlawful or unfair -- a divorced person can appeal the decision to try and get it changed. In most cases, when a judge makes a decision, the decision is usually final.

However, spouses might be able to modify their divorce orders at a later time. Such a modification could receive approval if the modification relates to a significant change in circumstances relating to one or more parties affected by the divorce orders.

4 questions about child support modifications

You and your spouse are splitting up. You think the court will order you to pay child support for your 12-year-old son.

You're fine with that, and you want to help out. However, you also work in a rather volatile industry. Things are going well right now, but you're worried about what your finances will look like in a year, or in five years. If you're ordered to pay $1,000 per month, for example, is that going to turn problematic in the future?

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