Unless there are legitimate safety concerns, it is typically in your children’s interests to maintain a relationship with both parents. Shared custody is an effective way of maintaining this relationship.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the developmental stage that your children are currently in is the most important thing to keep in mind while managing shared custody.
Teenagers and school-age children
When your children start going to school, they gradually start stepping out into the larger world. According to Healthline, their lives no longer revolve around the situation in the home by the time they are teenagers. Nevertheless, your divorce can have a strong effect on your children emotionally, and they may feel as though they are helping by keeping their emotions to themselves. You need to create a parenting plan that accommodates their school and extra-curricular activities while allowing plenty of one-on-one time in which you can encourage them to talk about their feelings.
Preschoolers, infants and toddlers
For children this young, there is little to their world outside of home and family life. Therefore, your divorce can be disruptive even if your children are too young to remember the details of what happened when they get older. Nevertheless, children at this age are also adaptable, and you can help young children recover by establishing a consistent parenting plan as soon as possible to restore a sense of stability.
Obviously, your children are not going to stay at the same developmental stage forever. Your parenting plan may have to adapt over time as your children grow and their needs change.