Even though you no longer want to be in a marriage with your husband or wife, you recognize the importance he or she plays in the upbringing of your children. For that reason, you probably are amenable to sharing custody after your divorce. If so, you may have to see your soon-to-be ex-spouse at least once a week.
Your custody transfers, sometimes called custody exchanges or swaps, are the meetings you have with your x-spouse to hand over physical custody of the kids. This transfer comes at the beginning and end of your on-duty parenting time.
Custody transfers can be problematic
According to Dr. Ann Gold Buscho, a psychologist who writes for Psychology Today, custody transfers can be contentious for parents and kids. This is especially true early in your co-parenting arrangement, as it often takes some time to acclimate to custody transfers. Still, you can take certain steps to foster a positive and stress-free custody exchange.
Address custody transfers in your parenting plan
Arguably, the most effective way to have productive custody transfers is to address the topic in your parenting plan. When negotiating your custody arrangement, try to designate a place for your custody transfers. Also, set some expectations for how the custody transfers must unfold. These expectations may include one or more of the following:
- Arriving at a specific time
- Dressing the kids appropriately
- Feeding the children
- Packing essential items
- Communicating any changes in plans as early as possible
You also may want your parenting plan to include a framework for modifying custody transfers if they are not working for everyone in your family. Ultimately, with some planning and the right attitude, you can create good habits for transferring custody of your kids.