As you leave your spouse and set up an entirely separate life, it is important that you think of how your children will fit into that life. Will they have their own room or rooms at your new home? Will they have access to friends and familiar hangouts? What things do you need to make them feel more at home in a new place? Fortunately, there are several things a parent can do to prepare kids to live in two homes after a divorce.
1. Do not compete with your ex
Whether you are the noncustodial parent or you are evenly splitting custody, resist the urge to compete with your spouse. You do not have to give your kids “more” or “better” than your spouse, and forcing your children into that situation can confuse and upset them.
2. Use a combined calendar
To avoid confusion and the frustration that comes with it, use a joint calendar with your ex to schedule visits, sports games and other activities. This ensures that you are both aware of what your children are involved in and that you do not miss the important events in their lives.
3. Keep rules, discipline and schedule consistent
Your kids are facing serious changes in their lives in almost every area, and your home should be a safe place where they can count on consistency. Speak to your ex about keeping the rules, discipline and schedule consistent from home to home, and do your best to stick with the plan.
4. Surround them with familiar
Work to surround your children with familiar items. Let them bring a favorite teddy bear or blanket when they come to visit you, and give them a say in decorating their own rooms. The more choices they can make, the easier the adjustment will be.
5. Set up a solid parenting plan
During your divorce proceedings, it is vital that you set up a solid co-parenting plan with your ex to guarantee your kids have time to adjust to living in two homes. If you are facing a divorce and want to make sure you and your children have what you all need, consult with an attorney today.