One of the most difficult things for parents after a divorce is sharing parenting time with their children. You know the end of your marriage will change how often you can see your kids, but that does not mean that you cannot be an involved and active parent. An important step for easing the stress that divorce can bring for children is providing them with a thoughtful custody arrangement. To make this work smoothly, you will have to focus on the needs of the children above your own temporary feelings.
An important step to making custody work smoothly for your children is to make the transition between homes as easy as possible. Each family is different, and you can develop a plan that will allow you to move your children between homes with minimal stress. Having a plan in place that both parents will follow will benefit the entire family and minimize the chance for a dispute.
Making it easy for the children
Every family is different, but in most cases, it is prudent to have a set plan in place. This provides a sense of stability and security for the children, but it can also reduce stress for you as well. Some tips for making this transition easier include the following:
- Have your transition between homes take place at the same time every weekend or at the same time on the day when it is time to swap.
- Try not to make any last-minute changes to your normal pick-up and drop-off schedule.
- When it is your turn to pick up or drop off, try to be on time.
- Have everything ready to go, and make sure that your children can leave some important things at each house.
- Explain to your kids what is happening and make sure they understand how and when they will move between homes.
Even with a focus on protecting the best interests of your children, you can also seek custody and visitation terms that will allow you to protect your parental rights as well. If you are unsure of how to establish these terms, seek a fair custody and visitation order, or navigate the process of transitioning between homes, you may benefit from seeking professional guidance regarding your legal options.