The summer can be a good time to test separations and custody plans if you and your spouse or partner have decided to get a divorce and end your relationship. That doesn’t mean that your children won’t have issues while trying to adapt to living in two places or won’t have concerns about the new schedule.
Helping your kids cope with the changes in their life should be a priority for both you and your spouse, even as you end your marriage or partnership. How can you help them? Here are three ideas to keep in mind as you try a new custody plan.
- Be straightforward with your kids
The first thing to do is to be straightforward with your children about what’s happening and what to expect. Explain where they will be and write it out on a schedule for them if they’re old enough to read and understand it. Children want to have control and support, so allowing them to participate in getting ready for custody transfers and being comforted about the changes will help.
- Set aside time to listen to your children
The next thing to do is to set aside time to listen to your children and their needs. Sit down with the other parent and your children, so you can have a discussion about the custody schedule, divorce and your children. Explain that this is not their fault, and be ready to listen to their concerns.
- Be flexible as you see how the custody plan works for you
Finally, if you’re testing the custody plan in the summer, you may have a bit more flexibility than in the school year. Since custody is new to you and your kids, make sure you look for changes that need to be made and keep open lines of communication with the other parent. Adaptations that need to be made can be done with a modification request through the court.
These are three things that can help make the transition from a single-family home to two households easier. Make sure your kids have time to express themselves and understand what’s happening, and they will be in a better position to adapt.