During a divorce or child custody dispute, parents may deal with situations where a child will not want to spend time with a non-custodial parent. Essentially, instances may arise where a child becomes anxious about exchanges or may be hostile about going over to the other parent’s home. This may occur when a child hasn’t seen a parent for a while or ties something emotionally jarring to the other parent’s home.
When this occurs, there are several things parents can do to alleviate the child’s fears. This post will explore them.
Custodial parents can take a number of steps to encourage visits with the other parent. This can include putting special dates on the calendar, or arranging unique events that involve the other parent. Custodial parents can also take steps to reassure children that they will be okay while the kids are away. Believe it or not, many children worry that their parents will be distraught while they are visiting the other parent, and project a sense of guilt that manifests itself during exchanges.
As for non-custodial parents, they can take solace in knowing that most kids go through an adjustment period after exchanges. It could be a few minutes or a couple of hours depending on the child. A non-custodial parent can also make sure there is an open line of communication with the other parent. Most importantly, keeping work and other romantic relationships separate from time with children goes a long way towards fostering strong relationships.
If you have additional questions about how to resolve problems with parenting time exchanges, an experienced family law attorney can help.