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Transitions from 1 house to another can affect your child

Parents who are not in a relationship but have children together have to work as a team to ensure their children are able to grow and thrive. One aspect of child custody that is difficult for children is the transition from one parent's home to the other parent's home. Even when the transition is expected, the child might still have some apprehension when he or she has to say goodbye to one parent and hello to the other parent. There are some ways that parents can try to make the transition easier for the child.

One way that you might be able to help your child to cope with the transition is to always drop the child off. When the child is going to your ex's home, you bring the child there and drop the child off. When your child is coming back to your home from your ex's home, have your ex drop the child off. This makes it easier for the child since he or she knows that the transition is in the process. It also gives you and your ex a chance to say goodbye to your child before the transition and without interruption.

It is usually best to keep things low-key immediately after the transition to give your child time to adjust. Having to run out the door as soon as your child arrives might not be the best idea. Your child might need some alone time to get adjusted. Encouraging your child to take the time he or she needs can reduce the stress associated with the transition.

It also helps if you and your ex can be civil toward one another on these days. One way that you can encourage this is to have a good child custody agreement that spells out all expectations. The custody agreement might need to be modified occasionally to reflect changes in your child's needs. If that occurs, you should determine if your case is eligible for a modification.

Source: HelpGuide.org, "Co-parenting tips for divorced parents: Making transitions easier," accessed Oct. 29, 2015

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