Transferring your child between parents as part of your parenting plan can be one of the most stressful and challenging parts of parenting with your ex. Young children often have a hard time with the transition and you and your ex may also find that it is hard to be on your own best behavior at this time. Follow these tips to make the process go more smoothly.
- Be timely. The situation is challenging enough, but when one of you is excessively early (making your child sit waiting) or late, everything becomes harder. Try to be on time within a five minute window. Agree that if either of you are held up by traffic or other things beyond your control that you will call.
- Stay focused. Transfer time should be only about transferring your kids from one parent to the other. It is not a time to have discussions about schedules, child support, or other issues. Convey the information that is necessary (your son wouldn’t nap; your daughter has an extra soccer practice tomorrow; homework is in the backpack, etc.) and nothing else.
- Don’t let emotions get to you. You may still be struggling with your parenting plan. Long stretches of time without your child may be something you are having a hard time with. You might also still be working through your feelings about the divorce or the separation. As hard as it is, try to hold those feelings in until you are alone. If you have to sit and cry in your car for a few minutes after your child has left with your ex, do so.
- Pick a neutral location. While it might seem easier to just have your ex come get your kids at your house or go pick them up at his or her house, in reality doing so sets the stage for drama. After a divorce or separation, your homes become emotionally charged territory. If you are living in the home you once shared, having your ex waltz in the door can make you feel your space is being invaded. And likewise, if you are living in a new home, you may feel you don’t want your ex in the space at all as it is completely yours. A neutral location often works best. Some parents are comfortable meeting in a parking lot. Others feel it is better to meet at a friend or relative’s home, or inside a public place such as a mall. Do whatever feels comfortable.
DeTorres & DeGeorge is your child custody law firm for Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren counties New Jersey and surrounding areas. Call us now to schedule a consultation.