If you are going through a divorce, your children are likely to be your paramount concern. Opting to share custody of the kids with your soon-to-be ex-spouse may be the right approach for everyone in your family. Still, co-parenting is not without its own set of challenges.
Custody swaps, where you meet with your ex-spouse to hand off the kids at the beginnings and ends of your parenting time, are common sources of conflict for new co-parents. If a problem arises during your custody exchange, it may be due to one of three basic reasons.
1. Lack of preparation
Preparing children for the custody swap may be a bit like herding cats. Failing to ready the kids for the exchange may irritate your ex-spouse, though. While preparation takes some practice, you can likely minimize conflict by starting early.
Asking the children to pack the night before the swap may make sense. Also, always dress the kids appropriately and send necessary items, such as medication or homework, with them to their other parent’s home.
2. Late arrivals
In the aftermath of your divorce, your children’s co-parent may be looking for mole hills to turn into mountain Because your ex-spouse may consider your late arrival to be disrespectful of his or her time, try to arrive a few minutes early. If you are going to be late, prompt communication may help avoid a fight.
3. The wrong location
The location of the custody exchange can also be problematic for some divorced parents. When setting the swap site, try to find one that is neutral, safe, convenient and accessible.
You should probably address the location of your custody hand-off site during your divorce. By including the precise location in your custody agreement or parenting plan, you set reasonable expectations.