You and your former spouse may have agreed to go separate ways, but as long as you have children together, it will be difficult to avoid one another completely.
As much as you look forward to seeing your children, the prospect of coming face to face with your ex may put a damper on your good mood, but it is important to remember that your kids may also experience the emotional stress of those moments.
Stick to the schedule
Keeping to the schedule can help reduce the discomfort of your visitation exchange. Arrive on time for pick up and drop off, and do not choose that moment to open a discussion that could devolve into an argument. It is better to do that when the children are not present or let the attorneys handle it.
Avoid negative comments
In the months leading up to your divorce, the chances are good that your children picked up on the negative vibes, even if they did not witness the arguments. When you split up, the kids might have even experienced a sense of relief from having that tension gone from their lives. Speaking badly about each other during your visits and expecting them to choose a side is unfair and may result in feelings of guilt or betrayal, which are big emotions for small children.
Enlist an intermediary
If exchanging the children for visitation is too emotionally charged for everyone involved, it might make sense to ask a third party to facilitate the transfer.
Managing shared custody can be a challenge, but putting the children’s feelings first can go a long way toward making smooth transitions for visitation.