Custody disputes often occur during children’s breaks from school– spring break, summer break and holiday breaks. Issues arise because when parents aim to spend more with their children and struggle to follow the custody layout.
Change is difficult, especially for children. Here are five tips to help avoid arguments and successfully co-parent.
1. Communication is Key
Plan drop-offs and pick-ups ahead of time. Review every detail and make it a goal to overcommunicate in these situations. They’ll help eliminate any misunderstandings moving forward. Set a time and place where you’ll meet and follow through on those plans. The more things are communicated beforehand, the fewer arguments there will be when exchanging the children. Additionally, make sure to go over any medications the children need to take, any schedules they need to follow, or any activities you need to take them to. This will shift the exchange to the child’s benefit.
2. Be Realistic
Custody agreements can be difficult for every person involved, parents and children alike. It is important to be realistic with your time, finances and your situation. Make sure there is always a plan set in place for visitations that fit your lifestyle — and that you can accommodate long visits from the children.
3. Involve Your Children
Although the last call will always be with the parents, making sure your children understand what’s happening and are involved in the communication process is important. Make sure they know when they’re going to be with the other parent and when they’re going to come back. Talk to them about any questions or concerns they may have and eliminate any stress that your children may be having regarding the custody agreement.
4. Make it About Your Children
Many times, custody agreements many times stem from resentment in the marriage but have nothing to do with actual parenting. Divorce can be very hard on children. The more you make decisions about them rather than the emotions, it makes the decision-making process a little easier. If your children are going to a safe and happy home environment with their other parent, you have to allow them to enjoy their time together as well.
Smiling during the exchange of your children reassures them that you are okay with them being with the other parent. The more your children feel you’re okay with the arrangement, the more they will be okay with it as well. Divorce is extremely difficult and it can play a toll on the kids, but making sure you are doing your best to make it easy for them will go a long way.
What other tips do you have to co-parent? Share your ideas and stories with us below in the comments and give us a call with any questions.