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Tips For The Handoff — Easing A Child’s Transition Between Parents

Florida’s approach to the management of children after divorce is clearly reflected in the language of the related statutes. The concept of time-sharing replaced custody a few years ago with the intention of equalizing parents in their post-divorce child-rearing responsibilities. These days, it is not uncommon for children to divide their time equally between their parents’ homes, alternating every three or four days. At times, the handoff between houses can be difficult, especially when children are moody, tired, hungry or irritable.  

Here are some tips for making the transition a bit easier on both you and your children: 

  • Anticipate the child’s needs: Have snacks and drinks on hand or waiting in the car, even if it’s a short trip. The stress of moving can be eased a great deal by a good cookie. 
  • Bring a transitional object: A favorite toy or game can serve well to help a child move from one home to another. A transitional object creates a sense that there are two permanent homes rather than two temporary homes, and the toy is the link of permanence between them. 
  • Avoid conflict with your ex: Never pick a fight or rise to an argument with your ex while transitioning children. If you have an issue to discuss, arrange to arrive early and sequester yourselves out of earshot. If there are details of your parenting plan that need modification, discuss them with your attorney or in mediation. 
  • Have a plan: If your child resists transitioning, put a plan in place for negotiating the moment. Stay calm and focused, and try not to take it personally. Some children have trouble with change of any kind, and this type can be tricky. 
  • Respect boundaries: If you are picking your child up at what was formerly your family home, the temptation to make yourself comfortable can be enormous. Respect your former spouse’s right to privacy by not entering the house uninvited. 

Time-sharing is an essential part of your post-divorce parenting plan. If you require assistance with any divorce or co-parenting issue, contact an exceptionally professional Boca Raton divorce attorney at Weiner & Weiss, LLC.

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