Establish a Cordial Relationship with Your Ex
Your children will have much stronger family connections if you and your ex are on good terms. You don’t have to be best friends and you certainly don’t have to like each other. You just need to be kind enough to one another for your children to feel comfortable in both households. Try to put the past behind you and move on with your new setup in life. Whether you have joint custody or sole custody of your children, you need to create a pleasant environment for your family to grow in.
Share Custody, Regardless of the Judgment
No matter who wins custody of your children in the hearing, you need to find a way to share custody as much as possible. Many divorced couples will work out a visitation schedule, even if one parent has sole custody of the children. Depending on how close you and your ex live to one another, you might have visitations every other weekend, during major school breaks, three days a week, etc. Unless the children’s safety is at risk, try to allow your kids to see both parents as often as possible.
Create a routine for your children that gives them strong family connections after your custody hearing. Your children will grow up to be happier, healthier, and more productive if you can establish a pleasant living environment full of love and encouragement.
Consider Family Counseling
In some cases, family counseling may be necessary to help all members of the family reconnect and express their emotions. This could also happen long before the custody hearing, through family and marriage counseling. If your children are having a difficult time adjusting after the divorce, they may need individual child counseling to express their feelings in a safe, open environment. Some children cope better in counseling or therapy because they feel more comfortable talking about their emotions with someone else in the room. You can gain insight into your child’s true thoughts and feelings so you can make adjustments during your family bonding time.
Adjusting to your new life after a custody hearing will take time. Be patient, and do your best to spend time with each of your children individually during this difficult transition. Together, you can establish a healthy new life as a family – even if it looks a little different now.