A Simply Complicated Moment For Co-Parents & Children

When you share custody of your children, there will be countless times when the child must transition from one household to another. The physical distance between the two parents is almost irrelevant. In other words, even if you and your spouse live ten minutes from one another, the child will still have to temporarily say goodbye to one of the people they cherish. This can cause your child to have conflicting emotions. They may be ecstatic that they get to see one of their parents, but they may also feel a degree of guilt for feeling that way. 

To help you and your child navigate the challenges of a timesharing exchange, we will outline the mindset you can adopt, and give you some tips for making it your reality. 

One House, Two Locations

Although you and your spouse will be in separate houses, and you will likely act more like a guest in the other person’s space, your child doesn’t need to act and feel the same way. Children tend to feel most comfortable when there is structure because they know what to expect. You and your spouse should arrive at certain constants and be a united front. For example, the rules in your house must reflect those in the other parent’s house. This could include the following:

  • Bedtimes
  • Where your meals are eaten
  • Shower and hygiene routines
  • Screen time allotments 

Your child should feel free to talk about their other parent in your presence. Though you should never try to gain information about the other parent through your child, the child should feel comfortable enough to tell you they miss their mother or father—and you should empathize with them. You may no longer be together, but you and your former spouse are bonded as parents forever.. The stronger your co-parenting relationship, the more comfortable your child will feel regardless of physical location. 

Actionable Tips

Saying goodbye to someone you love can be emotionally overwhelming and physically painful. As in all cases, remember to put your children first. It may seem counterintuitive, but you shouldn’t have long, emotional goodbyes during pickup/dropoff routines. Though you may never want to let go of your child, they may feel that by leaving you, they are causing you to be sad. That may be accurate, but they shouldn’t have to carry that burden. 

You may want to tear up or cry, but you should exercise these feelings away from your child or even with a professional mental health counselor. For the benefit of your child, keep the mood happy and upbeat. Positively interact with your former partner by sharing relevant information. For example, tell your spouse if the child scraped their knee on the playground or discovered a newfound passion for something like drawing. Communication strengthens your relationship and is a way of passing the baton to the other parent. Give your child a quick glimpse of how you and your former partner work together as a united team. 

Speak with a Compassionate Attorney 

At C. Alvarez Law, we want to lay the foundation that sets you up for long-term success. We never lose sight of how you need to develop a co-parenting relationship with your former partner and how your actions during your divorce or paternity case can hinder or enhance it. With that in mind, we will guide you through alimony, child support, time-sharing issues with your children, and any other hurdles we must overcome together. Contact our office to schedule your consultation today. 

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C. Alvarez Law

C. Alvarez Law is a Central Florida-based law firm that helps families find resolutions to their most complex family law issues. We are dedicated to providing the support and advice you need for a positive outcome and a better life. Before you can move on with your life, you need closure. Our firm is diverse, energetic, and passionate about delivering this for the clients who have placed their trust in us. Let’s work together today to find a better tomorrow.

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