When parents in Illinois divorce, their main concern is usually what will happen to their children. Understandably, parents want to shield their children as much as possible from the turmoil and upheaval of divorce. This is why it is crucial for parents to agree on a suitable and thorough child custody agreement. In many arrangements, custody is shared, so the children go back and forth between homes. Here are a few ways parents can make this transition as smooth as possible for their children.
Set a location
Many parents find that it is helpful to pick children up at a neutral place. A neutral location will help to reduce the odds of children getting caught in the middle of a parental conflict. Examples of these types of locations are school, daycare or a grandparent’s residence. It will also help children avoid saying goodbye and leaving one parent to be with the other.
Ease feelings of guilt and stress
Leaving a parent can cause children to feel guilty, which can make repeated separations and reunions difficult and stressful. Parents can help ease their children’s emotions by showing love and encouraging their children to talk about their feelings. Most of the time, children just need to know that it’s okay to see and love the other parent.
Avoid doing only fun activities when the kids are visiting. Most children need routines and structure. Transitions between households are easier on the children when they know what to expect at each home.
Without a doubt, transitioning back and forth between households can be stressful for both parents and children, especially right after a divorce. Having a thorough transition plan can make the experience easier and less stressful for everyone. For parents who have questions about child custody arrangements, contacting a legal representative can be helpful. A knowledgeable family law attorney can answer questions and help guide clients through the process of creating a suitable parenting plan.