I’ve had several cases settle recently that involved kids, and many more that I am working on right now. Because spouses are required to separate for one year before obtaining a divorce in North Carolina, the reality of the situation dictates that many spouses are required to deal with the children’s issues almost right away. Hand in hand with the child support issue is custody of the children and how to handle visitation.
Frequently, kids are shuffled from one household to another. This can be extremely stressful for the parents and kids alike. Rosalind Sedacca has written an article that provides some tips on how to make this transition easier for everyone involved.
- Patience – Show patience with one another. Both you and your spouse and the kids are all stressed at the situation you are in. Don’t make it worse by fighting over little things that really don’t matter.
- Be Prepared – Just like the Boy Scouts used to say. Know ahead of time where you are meeting, and who is doing the driving. Have the kids bags packed and ready to go. Make sure their clothes and bodies are clean. The worst thing you can do is drop off the kids with a bag full of dirty laundry – giving your spouse more work to do when they are supposed to be spending time with the kids is not a good practice.
- Stay Pleasant and Positive – Kids can be apprehensive and nervous about the changes that are happening. Be a constant source of positivity and reassurance. Don’t ever disparage the other parent in front of the kids.
- Be Cooperative and Flexible – Changes happen, things come up, adjustments might need to be made. Be open to the possibility that you may have to vary the schedule or alter the drop-off times or locations.
Co-parenting is not easy – but it can work if you follow these tips. Using the Collaborative Divorce model will help coach you through these and other techniques to help you manage your relationship with your spouse and kids.