Preparing a child for two homes
Divorce can be hard on children, especially when they must split their time between two households in New Jersey. A failed marriage does not mean that your co-parenting relationship with your spouse and kids cannot workout. If you and your former partner can put aside your differences about the divorce and the custody agreement, you can both work together to make the transition from one household into two much easier for your kids.
There are times where you may feel like giving up because of the challenges you may encounter. Co-parenting is not always easy, and neither is the transition during the initial stages. Stay positive and diligent in your efforts. Continue to put your best foot forward so you can set an example for your children's other parent.
Make a list
Kids do not always remember to grab their things, especially if they are in a rush. Make a list of items of items that must go back forth from your place to the other parent's home. Try to include schoolwork, instruments and other items that are important to your kids that they may need for school and other activities.
Focus on your children's happiness
Pay close attention your children's behavior and feelings. Encourage them to talk to you anytime they want. Make sure that you establish ground rules as to what kind of behavior and language is acceptable and what is not. You do not want to make it okay for your children to act out and disrespect you if they are angry about the situation.
Give them stability
Do everything in your power to create a home for them, even though they now have two. You want your kids to feel needed and like your home is their home. Give them their own room so they have privacy and a personal space that is their own. Let you kids make decisions about the furnishings in their room and home. Try to make sure they have enough clothes, personal items, toys, books and other possessions that are similar to what they had in the marital home.
Establish a schedule
You may want to work out a schedule with the other parent to give your kids more stability. Document the dates and times they are supposed to be with you and their other parent. Let your children have some input about their schedule so they can feel included and like they have some control over the situation.
Living in two households may be beneficial for your kids. Once the adjustment period is over, you may notice that they are stronger and more independent. If you are having trouble working with your children's other parent to ease the transition to separate households, you may want to get guidance on the matter from an attorney.