If you share custody of your children with your ex-spouse, you likely must exchange the kids at the beginnings and ends of your scheduled parenting time. To minimize potential conflict, you should put some effort into choosing the right hand-off location and commit to always arriving on time.
While these steps may keep your ex-spouse happy, you should also prepare your kids for the custody swap.
Establish a routine
Child psychologists have long recognized the benefits a consistent routine has on children. When you always go through the same or similar motions before and during the custody exchange, you set reasonable expectations for your kids. Put simply, if the children know what to expect, they are more likely to adjust quickly to the custody hand off.
Dress the children appropriately
You want neither to endanger your kids nor to irate your former husband or wife. Therefore, you should always dress the children appropriately for both the custody exchange and its immediate aftermath. This may mean putting layers of clothing on your children during times of the year when temperatures may fluctuate considerably.
Expect some distress
Children tend to focus on what they are doing at any given moment. If a custody exchange interrupts playtime, for example, your kids are not likely to be happy. Consequently, while you can take steps to foster a smooth custody exchange, you should expect some occasional distress.
Even though your children’s emotions may not be entirely within your control, setting the right tone for the custody swap is a good way to ensure your children continue to thrive in their post-divorce worlds.