Child custody cases can range from amicable to contentious, depending on the circumstances. The parents in these cases often must work through some challenges in order to come to an agreement that puts the children first. Anyone who is in the middle of a child custody case should ensure they are handling certain aspects of the case properly.

First, always put the needs of the children first. The child custody case isn’t the time to try to make your life easier or your ex’s more difficult. Instead, every decision you make has to be based on what’s best for the children.

Second, communicate carefully. All communication with your ex, as well as what you say about your ex, should be respectful. You should communicate directly and never try to use the kids as messengers. If you can’t speak directly to your ex, you can discuss things through a third party or even a monitored messaging app.

Third, spend time with your children. Don’t show up late to pick up the kids, and don’t try to reschedule your time with them. They are likely having at least a little trouble adjusting to the circumstances, so you being consistent with seeing them is beneficial to them.

Fourth, be willing to compromise. When co-parents can work together, the children usually fare better. Not only can this help during the child custody case, it sets a good standard for the rest of the child’s life.

As is the case with other aspects of divorce, you and your ex can come to an agreement about child custody. The agreement is presented to the court for approval. As the child matures and their needs change, modification is possible.