In post-divorce families, it is not uncommon for parents to share custody of the children. If you have a shared-custody arrangement, though, you likely cannot cut your former spouse out of your life forever. Indeed, you must see your ex at least a couple of times each week when you swap physical custody of your kids.
Custody transfers are the usually brief meetings you have with your co-parent to hand off physical custody of your children. According to Psychology Today, these transfers can be contentious for several reasons.
Rehashing old grievances
You certainly had some valid reasons for ending your marriage. While you probably also had plenty of opportunities to bicker with your spouse, old arguments can resurface during custody transfers. To minimize disputes, keep your focus on completing each custody transfer.
Getting into territorial battles
Even if you and your co-parent are happy your marriage is over, it might be uncomfortable to be in your ex’s home. This is especially true if your former husband or wife has a new love interest. To avoid territorial battles, it makes sense to choose a neutral location for your custody transfers. Your children’s school, a public park or a shopping center may be good options.
Not communicating delays
Even if you plan and prepare for each custody transfer, you are going to be late eventually. Not communicating delays or changes in your plans might irritate your co-parent. Simply sending a quick text message may make all the difference.
Ultimately, if most of your custody transfers end up being difficult, modifying your custody agreement can help to set more realistic expectations.