One of the hardest parts of divorce when you have children, is how you can’t get a clean break. You have to frequently see your ex for custody exchanges and special events, like basketball tournaments.
Custody exchanges can easily become a stressful time for the entire family, with the parents and children dreading what sometimes becomes a hostile confrontation. How can you make custody exchanges less stressful for your family?
Keep the schedule and communicate about changes
If you always meet at 5:30 for the exchange but find yourself caught in traffic, communicating with your ex as soon as you know you will be late will help them occupy the children until you arrive and prevent an angry confrontation about you wasting their time.
Don’t talk about emotional topics in person
One of the reasons that divorcing parents get into fights during custody exchanges is that they try to talk about an important matter regarding their children, like football tryouts or their academic performance. These discussions can quickly devolve into arguments, which is why it is usually better for parents to talk about those through written messages rather than face to face during custody exchanges.
Keep a mental checklist
Does one of your children need to bring their inhaler with them? Did they take school supplies or homework to the other parent’s house that they need to bring back with them? You can make custody exchanges easier for you and your children as well as your ex by remembering what physical items the children brought with them or need to bring back.
Thinking about how to make co-parenting easier for your family will not just make your life better but can improve things for your children as well.