When parents get divorced it can be particularly hard on a child, yet the opportunity to co-parent and share custody can help to ease some of the pain and confusion. Shuffling the kids back and forth between two houses can take some getting used to, but with these simple tips in mind, you might have an easier time helping them to adjust:
- Don’t compete with the other parent – Switching back and forth between homes can be a big change for your child, especially younger ones, so try to keep things in perspective. A lavish bedroom makeover to try to make your house the more special one isn’t the kind of attention your child needs. Try to keep your thoughts on what you can best provide for your kids in a consistent manner instead of how you can do better than your former spouse.
- Let your children have some say – Custody schedules will look different in every family; some might have weekdays with mom and weekends with dad, or might alternate one week on and one week off. No matter what the arrangement is, try to let your children have some say over where they spend their time. This becomes incredibly important during events like birthdays or school functions.
- Make packing easy – The transition to the other parent’s house shouldn’t be an all day event where your kids have to spend hours packing everything they’ll need for the next few days. If financially possible, try to have duplicates of their more important items, so they can leave one at each of your houses. Smaller kids might benefit from a packing checklist to make things easier.
- Keep the mood light – Whether you have to endure listening to how great of a time your kids had at dad’s house or you’re dreading seeing him for the drop off, don’t let your feelings about your ex get in the way of your child’s experience of living in two different houses. Try to keep the mood light or even exciting about the upcoming switch.
- Create schedules that sync – Trying to keep one home’s set of events clear is a large enough task, but managing two households can be extra challenging. Assuming you and your ex are on relatively good terms, try creating a shared calendar for the children’s events. This small item will help to avoid a lot of confusion in the long run.
Creating two environments that meet your child’s needs should be your ultimate goal when splitting custody. If you need support around how to make this a reality, contact Topham Family Law today. We provide experienced and excellent legal help for family law matters in in Utah.