While joint custody arrangements are typically in the best interests of your children, they can also be stressful for you and your ex-spouse. Not only do you have to deal with the stress of seeing your ex when it’s time to transfer the children from one household to another, but you may have to deal with anxious children. While HelpGuide explains that children tend to feel more secure in joint custody households, they also take time to acclimate to the new arrangement.
You and your spouse have to work together to make the arrangement as seamless as possible.
File away bitter feelings
Try to remember that co-parenting has nothing to do with your personal feelings. When you co-parent, you only come together for your child. You have to learn to file away your emotions to work cooperatively. Try to file away and vent your feelings elsewhere. Talk to friends, family members or a professional about the negativity you feel towards your ex. Whenever you begin to feel upset or resentful, remember the importance of creating a stable environment for your children.
Be careful not to let your children feel like they are in the middle of you and your ex. Do not include them in any negativity you feel.
Create a transfer routine
You may want to outline the transfer routine in the parenting plan. Some households decide to find a neutral place to transfer custody, whereas others go straight to the other house. If you conduct the exchange at each other’s houses, consider dropping your kids off rather than picking them up. Picking up kids can interrupt special moments between parents.
Your children should have belongings in both households to minimize packing and to feel at home in both homes.