In a typical scenario, parents expect everything to proceed smoothly with their kids once a divorce concludes. Even when armed with a child custody court order, conflict with your co-parent may not end with your divorce.
Many divorced parents in Michigan find that their co-parenting problems worsen after divorce, especially in contentious situations. Exchanging custody of your kids can be one of the most emotionally draining experiences of your post-divorce life.
Making the exchange of custody more peaceful
Most parents find custody exchanges particularly hard. The custodial parent may dread letting go of the kids, and the noncustodial parent may harbor resentment over not winning full custody. Regardless of why conflict occurs, it is in your and your child’s best interests to remedy the situation.
The tips below can help make your exchanges more peaceful for all involved.
- Be prepared: Making the custody exchange as quickly as possible can help reduce conflict. Make sure you prepare for the exchange by having your kids and their belongings packed and ready to go.
- Be timely: If you are constantly late for your scheduled custody exchanges, your co-parent may have good cause to complain. Make an effort to arrive on time or even a few minutes early when exchanging custody.
- Be firm: Often, one parent will attempt to engage the other in arguments or discussions during child custody exchanges. Be polite but firm in your refusal to get drawn into a lengthy (and emotionally uncomfortable) conversation.
- Be safe: When dealing with an angry or unhappy co-parent, protect your safety by bringing someone with you for the exchange. It is also wise to make your exchanges in a public place like a Walmart parking lot or similar setting.
If your efforts to stabilize your custody exchanges fail, consider seeking guidance. It can also help to learn more about child custody laws in the state of Michigan.