February 16, 2015

Coping with Anxiety over a Joint Custody Agreement

Child Custody, Children of Divorce, Illinois family law attorney

While shared or joint custody may seem like the best and most fair option for all parties involved after a divorce, it is not always easy. According to a personal story in The New York Times, learning how to deal with the separation from your child when it is the other parents’ turn to have custody can be just as devastating and difficult as separating from your spouse—if not more-so.

When you are determining your child custody arrangements, it is wise to lay out the plans for several years to come, such as divvying up holidays, school breaks, and weekly or daily routines. This can help to avoid complications down the road, as well as ensure that expectations are clearly delineated for both parents.

Unfortunately, however, many parents—especially mothers—will experience severe anxiety when they begin a joint custody arrangement.

According to Parents, several suggested tips can help make a joint custody arrangement easier. Remaining positive about the other parent is important, and can help ease anxiety. Reminding yourself that your co-parent is a good one (even if he or she was not a good spouse) can also help alleviate anxiety. Remember, one psychologist told Parents that when your child is with your ex, he or she is with the only other person in the world who loves them as much as you do.

Additionally, The Huffington Post notes several suggestions if you are newly separated or divorced and are having trouble when your children are at your ex’s. One is to stop feeling guilty. It is important to realize that children are almost always better off in two loving homes than one unhappy one. Learning to enjoy time alone is important too, but beware of drinking too much—newly separated people are prone to addiction.

In the same vein, do not allow yourself to feel guilty about enjoying the time alone. When your child asks what you will do when he or she is not there, do not burden him or her with your sadness or anxiety. Keeping lines of communication open not only with your ex but with your children will help to ease anxiety as well.

If you are considering divorce and have children, the most important thing you can do is speak with a qualified legal professional. Do not attempt to sort out complication custody arrangements on your own. Contact an experienced DuPage County family law attorney today.