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After The Dust Settles

Your life has been on hold due to the custody battle. Itís time to plan your peacetime as well as you planned your war. If you are successful, the stress and anger will gradually subside and you can get on with your life. The best reason to forgive is simply that you drain yourself harboring anger and resentment after the case. Many good books are available on dealing with lingering feelings.

This is the time to put routines into place for your children such as making their beds, cleaning their rooms, setting the table, brushing their teeth, and establishing a regular bedtime hour.

When your kids are going to spend a holiday or weekend with the other parent, facilitate their time together. They will respect you and be happy that you want them to enjoy their time away. Here are some of the ways you can prepare for their trips:

  1. Pack ahead the night before to avoid delays. Pack two bags Ė one with clothes and a backpack with snacks, books, and an activity book. Water bottles, pop or juice in cans or pouches, apples, dried fruit, and granola bars travel well.
  2. Send at least $5 or more so they can buy some incidentals if necessary.
  3. Name, address, and phone numbers of other parent and itinerary copies are in both bags.
  4. When the other parent comes to visit in your town, send along the most recent newspaper so they can see whatís going on in your area for movies and fun events to attend. Iíve emailed Stevenís mom maps with directions when he had out of town basket ball games on Friday afternoons and flyers about other weekend activities.

Even if the other parent doesnít reciprocate, youíre helping to make the time more enjoyable for your kids. Be sure to let them see and hear your appreciation for the things that the other parent does for them. Let your kids celebrate the occasions and holidays that are important to the non-custodial parent and their family. You can help them make or pick out a gift and card for birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.