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Standard Custody Schedule: Cutting Down On Conflict

Updated on February 2, 2012
Even infants can sense conflict between parents, so make transitions smooth and calm.
Even infants can sense conflict between parents, so make transitions smooth and calm. | Source

Conflict Hurts Children

Your typical custody schedule is intended to formalize how you and the other parent will spend time raising your children. Even though you are divorced from each other, your children still need caring, stable parental involvement. A standard custody schedule outlines what you, the other parent and the family court have deemed in your children’s best interest.

Just because a custody schedule has been approved as part of your standard parenting plan, it still takes both of you to make visitations actually work right and give your children the positive experiences they deserve.

Unfortunately, many parents often use visitations as a tool to hurt the other parent, causing damage to their children in the process.

When parents are continuously in conflict, children can feel anxious and stressed. Often, they are caught in the middle of their parent’s tension, feeling guilt for wanting to be with both parents, questioning their loyalty to one parent or the other and acting out in order to turn the parent’s attention to them rather than each other.

None of these are healthy for proper child development.

Tips To Ease Tension

Eliminate conflict surrounding the custody schedule by following a few simple rules:

  • Always be on time for exchanges
  • Let the other parent know if you are running late due to an emergency
  • Keep the other parent up to date on babysitters while the children are in your care
  • Communicate any changes in contact information for your home or work
  • Clarify what time the children should call or expect a call from the other parent
  • Avoid engaging in heated discussions or fights during transitions
  • Never say negative things about visitations in front of your children
  • Don’t test your children’s loyalty by asking them probing questions about the visit or the other parent

Make It Easier For Everyone

Challenge yourself to easing the tension surrounding visitation and let the custody schedule fulfill its intended purpose—to allow children reliable, quality time with both parents.

Do what you can to make this new parenting arrangement work, including using technology. Custody X Change software features an easy-to-use calendar that lets you print out color coded calendars of visitation times and dates. This can help reduce conflict and even let your children see when they can expect the next visit.

When you can put your animosity toward the other parent aside, it will make visitations a more positive and enriching experience for your children. It will even improve your relationship with your children.


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    • MarleneWheeler profile image

      MarleneWheeler 5 years ago

      Excellent and thoughtful hub; you are so right children can sense tension even if they are too young to understand what's going on between the parents.