If you share custody of your kids with a co-parent, you may have to transfer physical custody of your children to their other parent when your parenting time begins and ends. While custody transfers are likely to become routine eventually, they may be awkward in the first few months after your divorce.
You do not want to fight with your children’s co-parent during custody transfers. After all, arguing in front of the kids may cause them to develop anxiety, depression or behavioral issues. Fortunately, by employing three simple tactics, you may boost your chances of having successful custody swaps.
1. Pick the right place in advance
You probably do not want to leave the location of your custody transfers to chance. By negotiating exchange sites early, you and your children’s co-parent know what to expect. Generally, good hand-off locations are safe, neutral and convenient for both parents. The location of your custody exchanges may have a place in your parenting plan.
2. Prepare the kids for the swap
If you do not prepare your kids for the custody transfer, their co-parent may have grounds to start a fight with you. Therefore, it is critical to make sure the children are ready for the swap. The following preparation-related activities may be helpful:
- Dress your kids appropriately
- Pack essential items, such as homework, medication, toys and electronic devices
- Feed your children before transfers that take place around mealtimes
- Tell your kids what to expect during each transfer
3. Do away with surprises
Even if you plan for the custody swap and prepare your kids for it, something may go wrong. For example, you may get stuck in traffic or become ill. Still, surprises are the enemy of positive custody transfers. By calling or texting your children’s co-parent as soon as issues arise, you may help to keep tempers under control.
Ultimately, because you may know what sets your kids’ co-parents off, looking for all possible ways to minimize conflict during custody transfers may help everyone in your family adjust to them.