Janet L. Goehle, Attorney at Law
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Preparing children for two homes

Divorce can be a very challenging time for children in Minnesota, especially when they have to start living in two homes. Parents can prepare their children for the transition to two separate residences by working together to improve their co-parenting skills.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, parents should help their children to feel like they have some sort of control over their new living arrangements. Keep them involved in child custody concerns by sharing and discussing the situation with them. Ex-spouses should try to provide their children with as much information as possible while remaining open and honest about the situation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the divorce and future living arrangements, both parents may need to rehearse what they are going to say to their children beforehand.

There are other ways parents can prepare their children for living in two homes. Children should be able to see evidence that both parents are committed to co-parenting, states Parent.com. Ex-spouses should reinforce their children’s expectations of what is required of them by establishing several rules that should be obeyed in both homes. Another way to get the children onboard with the situation is for both parents to avoid showing up too early to pick them up on their designated switch days to prevent interruptions in quality time and special moments. Also, leaving all egos and negative emotions at the door helps to keep both parents from competing with each other and for their children’s affection which can negatively impact the transition.

With the right amount of preparation, effort and co-parenting skills, ex-spouses can make the transition from living in one household to two much easier for the children.

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