Sharing custody of your child can be a very difficult transition. As such, parents can make mistakes regarding custody orders and parenting agreements. Whether these mistakes are intentional or accidental, they can create serious problems.

Below, we discuss a few of the more common mistakes parents make and why it is important to avoid them. 

Mistake #1: Missing custody exchanges

Whether you are picking up or dropping off your child, it is imperative that show up to custody exchanges. If you are frequently late and do not communicate with the other parent, you could be accused of violating your custody order.

If you stop showing up to custody exchanges altogether, you may lose parenting time. And if you fail to return your child to the other parent in accordance with the custody order, you could face serious criminal charges and jail time.

Parents must comply with the schedule and rules for custody exchanges. If a change does come up, give each other plenty of warning to avoid an escalated dispute.

Mistake #2: Not respecting boundaries

Many parents establish boundaries in their parenting plan. This might include staying out of each other’s homes during exchanges or not posting pictures of the children on social media without consent. 

Whatever the boundaries may be that you have in place, it is crucial to respect them. Crossing them often does little more than antagonize the other parent and create avoidable conflict that could lead to legal action.

Mistake #3: Making it difficult for your child

As difficult as sharing custody can be for parents, it is also difficult for the children. Parents who make the situation more upsetting by fighting at every opportunity or badmouthing each other all the time can be causing preventable anguish for a child.

To avoid causing unnecessary pain and stress for a child, be careful with your words around your child. Don’t fight with the other parent in front of your child; don’t belittle each other in an effort to get a child to take sides; don’t forget that the other person is your child’s parent, not just your ex.

Sharing custody takes work and patience, and the transition can take time. However, avoiding these common mistakes can make the situation a little easier for everyone.