Coparenting after a divorce is difficult regardless of the child’s age or the relationship after the divorce. Even parents who have an amicable split and remain friends encounter problems as they navigate the challenging task of parenting mutual children individually instead of as a couple. When children are constantly traveling between two different homes and each parent spends time away from their child, problems will crop up, especially when visitations first begin. Transitioning a child between two households each week or twice a month is not without pitfalls and knowing ways to make child custody visitation transitions manageable can make the task less stressful for everyone involved.
Talk Before and After Each Visitation
After a divorce, former spouses often have to relearn how to communicate with each other. Initially both parties may only feel comfortable speaking about matters concerning their children as they occur. While spending time to get used to the new relationship dynamic is understandable, it is important for parents to talk before and after each scheduled visitation. Talking one or two days before the child is picked up or dropped off gives both parents a chance to discuss things such as school projects, visits to the doctors, behavioral issues, or new things that the child is interested in. Usually in a rushed pick up or drop off, parents have limited time to exchange information so speaking before and after on the phone gives both parents a chance to stay current on all things concerning their child that they might not be aware of.
Set Consistent Rules
Parents who are learning how to coparent a child of any age must work together to establish and stick to consistent rules. Children are conscious of which parent will let them get away with what thing and are often tempted to take advantage of the smallest discrepancy. One way to avoid a child trying to take advantage of parenting differences and keep one parent from appearing to be the “bad guy” is to set consistent rules to enforce in both households. Rules that regulate bed time, television viewing, gaming, and computer time should be identical with both parents using the same form of punishment.
Keep Important Items in Both Households
One of the most time consuming and stressful aspects of coparenting in two different households is making sure essential items are where the child is when they are needed. Forgetting to send or return sports equipment, medication, and comfort items could lead to a disaster at worst or an unnecessary trip at best. Investing in two of an item whenever possible and keeping one at each house cuts down on some of the stress associated with preparing for visitations. Alternatively, keep check lists available at both houses to remind children and parents alike what things have to travel with the child at all times.
Vayman and Teitelbaum Can Help
Determining child custody and visitation is a difficult task that may require modifications as the child grows older or parents are no longer able to accommodate a previously established visitation agreement. The attorneys at Vayman and Teitelbaum understand the complexity of coparenting and are able to guide you through the task of creating a visitation schedule that works for your family. Contact us today and schedule a consultation at one of our four offices conveniently located in the Atlanta metro area.