/How to Handle Joint Custody
Child Stuck Between Two Parents

How to Handle Joint Custody

Dear Sara,

My husband and I have just divorced. I am angry and don’t want anything to do with him but the judge has given us joint custody of our five year old daughter. He has divided up our child’s week so that she spends half a week with each of us. How can I do this without going crazy?


Dear Sharon,

This kind of situation is very difficult for a child. If you could put your anger aside and try to discuss the situation with your ex maybe you could figure out something  that could be a little easier for your daughter. If this can’t be accomplished then try to make things work so that she will have as much stability as possible.

Make sure she has a room in each house that is entirely hers and no one else can change it. Make sure her special toys are packed for each visit. The schedule needs to be stable so that your daughter will know what to expect. A calendar that she can keep with the days marked for each house can give her a visual idea of how things work.

Try not to argue in front of your daughter or act in a hostile way. This will make things more difficult for her. She needs both of her parents to love her even if they don’t love each other any more. It’s going to be hard to be civil to your ex but try really hard for your daughter’s sake.