Child custody cases are very difficult for some parents because they might have to do things that make them uncomfortable for the good of the children. This includes things like having to see your ex at special events for the children. While it is certainly possible for most adults to handle these types of occurrences, it sometimes has a big mental impact on you.
There are several ways that you might be able to help your children adjust to the new way of life better. You will have to evaluate the situation and determine what options you feel are best for the case. Here are a few things to remember as you walk this new adventure:
- Encourage your children to have a relationship with your ex. There are very few exceptions to this, such as if the ex was abusive toward the children. Sometimes, kids think they need to choose between parents. Letting them know that this isn't the case can help them tremendously.
- Talk directly to your ex. Trying to use the kids or anyone else as a messenger can lead to incorrect messages being passed. It is always best to go directly to the source to avoid any confusion. Additionally, the two parents speaking directly means nobody, including the children, has to feel uncomfortable as they play the role of messenger.
- Set clear rules for what is appropriate at shared events. No badmouthing should be allowed and nobody should bring up contentious matters. These times must focus solely on the children.
It is a good idea to have a set of rules in the parenting plan. This gives both parents a list of what's considered appropriate and what must be avoided.