6 Tips to Properly Manage Child Handovers after Divorce

By Gerald A. Maggio, Esq.

Orange-County-divorce-mediation-attorneys; California Divorce MediatorsIf your child lives with you, but has to be away from you for periods of time, it can be tough.  Even though your child is with your ex, you still feel as if a part of you is missing. Even if your child stays with you for a longer time, you still feel a form of separation anxiety when they are away. Did you know that you aren’t the only one feeling that way?

Your ex and your child feel exactly as you do. No one likes to be away from their kid just as no child likes to be away from their parents. Therefore, you along with your ex and child will have to learn how to manage handovers. Follow these six tips to learn to manage handovers:

1.     Understand Other People’s Feelings

When you have to give up your child to your ex, you feel nervous and anxious while the receiving end feels excited. Both parties need to understand each other’s feelings in order to make a smooth transition. Don’t approach the handover with resentment, but know that the other party in a couple of weeks will feel the same way as you do now.

2.     Do Not Bring the Entire Family to the Handover

The handover isn’t easy for your child, as he or she will be joining one parent and leaving behind the other. It may be an emotional time for both the parents and the child. Therefore, you need to make it between just the three of you. This means to leave the grandparents, stepchildren, stepparents, and best friends at home.

3.     Comprehend Your Child’s Feelings

Your child may be the most vulnerable during a handover. Children will act differently and their behavior may change as the time nears for the handover to occur. You will need to comprehend your child’s feelings and not lash out at them if they feel the need to rebel. It’s preferred that you sit them down, both before and after the handover to talk to them about it. When your child arrives back home, give him or her time to adjust to the surroundings.

4.     Do Not Fight with Your Ex

It’s given that your ex and you may not get along with each other very well and you may take his or her outburst against you as a personal attack. The unexpected outbursts or taunts may occur at the handover, which you need to learn to ignore. Remember, the person giving their child away at the handover may say something hurtful to their ex, as they are probably already hurting from inside.

5.     Do Not Rush Your Child to Spend Time with You

The parents getting the child may be over the moon with excitement and may want to spend time with them immediately. However, your child may not feel the same, especially on their first day with you. So, don’t pressure your child, but give them time to adjust.

To learn more about the divorce process in California and how mediation can help, please visit our page, “What is Divorce Mediation.”