If you are like most recently divorced parents, you probably hate the idea of seeing your ex several times a week to exchange custody. However, that is exactly what will likely happen after your divorce.
It can be hard for people to co-parent calmly, especially right after a divorce. When conflicts arise during custody exchanges, the situation can be very difficult for children to handle.
There are things that you can do to make custody exchanges less stressful for the two of you and easier for your children.
Pick a neutral location to meet
Arranging to meet at a neutral location can help make the situation less emotional. If you do home drop-offs, then not entering the home can help keep things shorter and less likely to result in conflict.
Don’t talk about personal matters when you meet.
When you talk with your ex, keeping the conversation focused on the children and not on your marriage or something your ex has failed to do can help the two of you avoid an argument. Instead of bringing up something that’s bothering you, you can ask about how the children did or remind your ex about an upcoming soccer game and leave the conversation at that.
Don’t place too much responsibility on the children
One of the easiest ways to cause a disagreement at a custody exchange is for the kids to come back without something they need, like a retainer or their geography homework.
It can be very difficult for children to have to constantly remember to bring certain items back and forth between two houses. Parents should each provide essential items and take responsibility for tracking other items, like retainers.
Trying to avoid conflict during drop-offs can help take some of the stress out of shared custody arrangements.