One of the most difficult things about child custody is having to hand your children over to your ex when it is his or her turn to spend time with them. While this might be a hard thing for you to do, it is also a stressful time for the children, thus making the situation a challenge for everyone involved.
Fortunately, parents do have some options for making parenting time transitions as effortless as possible. Consider these tips to help you deal with any challenges:
Drop the children off
The parent who has the children with them now should bring them to the other parent. This gives the child a chance to prepare for the exchange. They can also gauge how long it will be before the exchange takes place. If one parent has to go pick the children up, it can be difficult for the children to prepare for it. This is especially true for younger children who might not yet have a good understanding of time.
Come up with a routine
Try to develop a routine for the day that the children start their time with you and the day that they are going to transition back to the other parent. This can help them to settle into their time with you and aid the move back to the other.
Your routine doesn't have to be anything extravagant. Something as simple as having a movie night with popcorn and hot chocolate the first night at your house might do the trick. Think about what your children enjoy and how you can help them to think of your house as home.
Pass on disagreements
One thing that can make these transitions even more stressful is having difficult discussions during the hand-off. Ideally, you and your ex will be able to discuss contentious matters at another time when the children aren't present. This gives your children some stability since they won't have to wonder if there is going to be a fight when they go from one parent to the other.
When you have issues with parenting time transitions, you need to review the custody agreement. There may be provisions for how the child should move from one house to the other. Another thing to consider is that you might need to have the order modified if there are issues that consistently occur but aren't covered in the document.