As part of your divorce, you worked out a child custody agreement with your ex. Because you have never had to share custody of your child, you may feel unsure of how to make the situation work.

Educate yourself on the finer points of child custody. You do not have to learn from your own mistakes.

Keep the focus on your child

One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your relationship with your child is to remember that custody is about the kids, not the parents. It is easy to involve your emotions in child custody decisions, but doing so could backfire on you. Focus on making your child happy and giving her or him the happiest life possible, even if doing so does not always make you feel good.

Do not speak ill of your ex

Touching back on the emotional aspect of child custody, do not speak poorly of your ex in your child’s presence. You do not know how your words may psychologically impact your child, who shares DNA with you and your ex-spouse. Find other ways to work out any ill will you may bear.

Keep things realistic

When creating or adjusting your child custody schedule, be honest with yourself regarding your availability. While you may want to spend more time with your child or pick your child up at a certain time, prior commitments or work could restrict that time. It is great that you want to spend as much time as possible with your son or daughter, but you do not want to make promises you cannot keep, nor do you want to make decisions rooted in insecurity or fear.

You have much to learn to properly navigate child custody. Be patient with yourself and keep your child’s well-being in mind with every custody decision you make.