Parents who have separated or divorced often end up fighting with one another when they meet. Once they begin living separately, custody exchanges are often the only time that they have to see one another face-to-face. They may, unfortunately, become emotional during those interactions, which might lead to the children witnessing something distressing. High-conflict custody scenarios where children witness fights between their parents or hear them bad-mouthing one another tend to be more emotionally damaging than amicable co-parenting relationships.
Trying to keep conflict to a minimum, especially when the children are present, is of the utmost importance. These are few ways that parents who share custody in North Dakota can reduce conflict during custody exchanges.
Respect the schedule
Nothing triggers conflict more than scheduling disruptions. If someone knows that they need to change the current schedule or that they will show up late to custody exchange, they should communicate that to their co-parent as soon as possible. Otherwise, making it a priority to consistently show up on time or ideally a few minutes early can help prevent small issues from boiling over into a loud argument. Using a co-parenting app can help adults maintain a perfectly synchronized schedule and keep all of their communication about exchanges to the standard schedule in one easily-searchable location.
Sometimes, custody exchanges do not need to involve parental interaction at all. The kids can wait on the front porch when the weather is good and hop in the other parent’s car as soon as they arrive. Of course, when children are small, the weather is bad or the location is a neutral space instead of someone’s home, direct interactions are sometimes necessary. Parents may need to transfer items to one another, including prescription medication or homework.
When interactions are necessary, parents should keep the conversation strictly about the children. Remaining calm and keeping complaints or concerns for written communication via the parenting app can prevent a basic custody exchange from devolving into a screening match.
Be positive about the other parent
As a final note, it is typically best for the children to see their parents respect one another even after a separation or divorce. Talking positively about how much fun they should have with their other parent before a custody exchange can help set the tone for the children’s next few days. Being positive when children share what they have done with another parent when picking them up can also be beneficial.
Parents who put their kids’ needs first usually recognize how important minimizing custody exchange conflict is. Identifying potential sources of conflict and planning to minimize them can be beneficial for everyone in a family.