If you and your ex share custody of your child after a divorce, one thing that you have to do is simply to switch that custody back and forth. This seems simple enough, but it’s often one of the harder things that parents have to do. They may not be on the best of terms and may not cooperate with each other. It may also be hard on the child — and the parents — if the child does not want to switch.

To make it go smoothly, here are a few tips:

  1. Always make an effort to be at the right place and to show up on time.
  2. Be respectful of your ex, no matter how you feel.
  3. Try not to take anything that your ex or even your child says personally.
  4. Bring a third party. This can help people keep their emotions under control, as they’re less likely to lash out when someone else is there.
  5. Pick a different place for the exchange to take place, where you both may not have to be present.

For example, many parents of school-aged children who switch weeks back and forth will make that exchange on Friday. This just means that the parent with whom the child will live for the next week picks them up after school gets out. The parents don’t have to see each other, the schedule is set and the child feels like the exchange fits in with their own life.

No matter how you do things, make sure you are well aware of the parental rights you have in your post-divorce life.