A child custody case is a big upheaval for the child. These cases often mean that everything the child is accustomed to isn’t the same any longer. This can be difficult for a child to deal with, especially if the child is younger.
Children need to know what to expect throughout the day. From infancy, children begin to fall into a routine. As they get older, the routine changes. You might notice that big changes, such as going to school for the first time, cause some stress for the child. This is expected, but you have to be prepared to deal with the difficulties that will come in these situations.
When you are going through a divorce, your child has to adjust to having two different homes. These homes might have different rules. They might have different routines. Your child might have trouble adjusting to the constant fluidity of the situation.
There are several ways that you can help your child to thrive even though his or her routines are changing. One thing that you can do is to work with your ex to determine if major rules can remain constant in both homes and if major events of the day like bedtime can stay the same.
If you and your ex can’t work through these issues, you might have to just do the best that you can for your child when he or she is at your home. This could mean that you need to put a schedule up for your child, but you might be able to just let your child know what to expect each day.
Source: Our Family Wizard, “Why Routines Matter For Children,” accessed Sep. 28, 2017