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Your child wants to live with your co-parent: Now what?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Child Custody |

Navigating a divorce in Florida can be challenging, especially when children are involved. Things can become particularly fraught when a child chooses to live with one parent over the other. The news can hit hard, but it doesn’t need to mushroom into an irreconcilable rift.

Don’t take it personally

Learning that your child wants to live with your former partner is tough. But you mustn’t take it personally. Their decision doesn’t signify a lack of love. Usually, it’s a practical matter. The child may simply prefer your spouse’s home or its location.

Moreover, remember that children can be mercurial. What they crave one day may be a distant memory the next. That doesn’t mean you should disregard their wishes, but you should also be flexible.

Be compassionate

Compassion is key when it comes to child custody — and that includes self-compassion. Yelling and shouting at your kids or yourself won’t accomplish anything positive. But if you approach the subject calmly and without judgment, you may develop a solution that works well for everyone.

Don’t avoid the conversation

Avoiding the conversation is rarely wise. Brushing conflicts under the carpet doesn’t make them disappear. Instead, they fester and may become bigger problems down the road. Avoid turning a molehill into a mountain and address the conversation head-on.

Don’t bash the other parent

At times it may be difficult, but do your absolute best not to trash your co-parent in front of your child. Not only is it unhealthy for the kids, but it has the power to compound your custody issues in the future.

Talk to your co-parent

Open a respectful dialogue with your co-parent. Find out if they’ve noticed any changes that would influence your child’s decision. Undoubtedly, this is an easier conversation if you and your ex are on good terms. But even if you’re not, remember that your child’s happiness and safety must come first.

Divorce can be hard on everyone involved. But letting kindness, compassion, and patience guide your path may help ease things along.

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