After your divorce, your child may have no choice but to become familiar with having two homes. Even though one parent will have physical custody, which determines where the child primarily lives, your child is likely to regularly visit with the non-custodial parent.
This is all new for your child, but there are steps you can take to make them comfortable from the start. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Talk to your child about the arrangement: This is one of the best ways to understand what your child is thinking and what you can do to ease the stress and tension.
- Let your child be part of the process: For example, they may want to help decorate their new bedroom. When your child is part of the process of settling into a new home, they’re more likely to enjoy it.
- Don’t compete with the other parent: Just because your child has some luxury at your ex-spouse’s house doesn’t mean you have to offer the same luxury at yours.
- Open the lines of communication: Staying in touch with the other parent in regards to living arrangements is important. This can help prevent disagreements.
- Help with the adjustment: It doesn’t matter if your child is being dropped off at your house or you’re leaving them behind with the other parent, do whatever you can to help with the initial adjustment period.
By taking these basic steps, you can help your child become comfortable living in two homes. As the weeks turn to months, this will become second nature.
If your ex-spouse is making this difficult for any reason, such as always violating the parenting agreement, you may want to learn more about your legal rights to enforce a parenting or custody agreement.