Shared Custody. How to Deal From a Lawyer Mom’s Perspective

20 Oct

As a mom, I completely understand my clients when they tell me “I can’t imagine not seeing my child everyday.”  It was not too long ago that I had that same thought and fear. However, over time and with the blended family I have now I understand it from all sides. My oldest child is a stepson who we have full custody over. My youngest two (twins) are ones my husband and I share.  My middle child is my son from a previous relationship. It is this child that I worry about almost every Friday. 

When my ex left the house it took awhile for him to get situated in his life and get a place to live so the thought of a custody schedule did not hit me immediately. Although being a family lawyer I knew it was coming. Eventually, a custody agreement was written up by the lawyers and every other weekend I say good bye to my son for two days. 

The first time my son went to his fathers for an overnight visit I dropped him off and drove home in tears. It is a day I will never forget. The emotions that ran through me are remarkable. I barely slept and paced around the house. I couldn’t just go into his bed and lay with him or go give him one more kiss goodnight. I used to call to say goodnight in his fathers time but anymore it has just caused friction. 

So how do you deal with your child being gone? 

1. Don’t be alone. It is very hard as such a powerful and strong person to admit that I just simply couldn’t be alone. Call your friends and spend time with them. It is at this moment that you will need to be surrounded by love and support. Don’t just sit at home and worry because I promise you it I’ll eat away at you. 

2. Find a hobby. You are going to find yourself with a lot of free time. Well t least I did until I had my twins, now time is lacking. However, if your “shared child” is your only child you will find that you have a lot of time to kill. Find a hobby to fill that time with. Enroll in a class, join the gym. For me it was work. I poured my heart and soul into work. Either way find something to fill your time. 

3. Get out of the house. Your house is a constant reminder of your child. Their things are everywhere. I promise you in the beginning if you just stay in the house you will have a breakdown. Get out and go do something. 

These are the top three (3) ways to deal with shared custody of your child. Now if you have a new family it becomes even harder. Going through events and holidays with only “part of your family” will always be a little bit sad. You will always have a little feeling of incompleteness. I wish I could say this gets better but you cannot fill something that is missing in these major life events. What you can do is try your best to coparent or at least be civil enough to parent together so your child can be a part of both lives as much as possible. 

Sharing a child is not easy but it should be where the child feels that they have to choose. I still miss my son every time he goes. I still feel sadness when he leaves. However I can only imagine what my son feels when he only sees his dad everything other weekend. 

Remember it’s about your kids.  

 

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