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Sharing custody: Coping with seeing your ex-spouse

Parenting after a divorce can be very difficult, but the reality is that you may have no other choice than to work with your ex-spouse to do so. Even if you didn't work out in a romantic relationship, there may be an understanding that you are positive influences in your children's lives.

You both fight and argue, but you also want what's best for your children. What should you do to make the situation more comfortable and to get along with your ex-spouse?

Set aside your egos

You may have unresolved issues of your own regarding your relationship, but it's time to put them aside for the sake of your children. If you and your ex-spouse continue the conflicts, you'll end up putting your children in the middle and make the entire situation uncomfortable. Consider therapy for yourself, so that you can find ways to look past the problems that occurred during your marriage and focus your energy on your children's needs.

Consider neutral drop-off locations

Sometimes, a divorce is just too fresh and the wounds are still painful. To avoid conflict, you may want to consider using a neutral drop-off location when you transfer custody of your children. This doesn't have to happen forever, but until you feel comfortable seeing each other without conflict, it can be a good way to avoid fighting.

Focus on your own hobbies and needs

Another good way to take some of the anxiety out of sharing custody is to take up your own hobbies and activities. Putting your stress and frustration into a positive activity can help you cope and focus on something other than the anxiety of your divorce.

Everyone's situation is going to be different, and the steps you need to take to feel comfortable with the divorce and raising your children separately will depend on your relationship with the other parent following the divorce. It's best to remember that you and your ex-spouse will have to work together, so finding any way to get along or at least be civil to one another will be helpful in the long term.

If there is a reason that you cannot get along or your ex-spouse is causing intentional issues that put a strain on your relationship or children, you may want to reach out to your attorney about taking further steps to make the custody transition more peaceful or to address harassing behaviors in court.

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