How to Create a Custody Schedule That Works for Your Family

Create a Custody Schedule That Works for Your Family

When it comes to divorce or separation, often one of the hardest tasks that you can sit down to do is create a custody schedule. There are a lot of layers to it, which can include court orders, work schedules for both co-parents, and the kids’ own schedules. There is a lot of juggling that can be done just to iron out a schedule and keep it running on the day to day, whether you are running through a co-parenting app, such as 2houses, or through a basic calendar. In this article, we will go through some key points to creating a custody schedule that works for your family.

Step One: Map out Schedules

The first thing that you should do is write out, or map, the schedules of everyone involved. Your work schedule, your ex-partner’s work schedule and then the kids’ school schedules. Add in any extra curricular activities that you, your partner or kids have on a weekly basis. Also be sure to add in any vacation time that you know about. This might have to added later or revised on a yearly basis, but if you know now, put it in.

While it may seem a bit daunting writing this out before you even set up the schedule, having everything at hand when you create a custody schedule will help it go smoothly without as many last minute changes to the schedule when you realize something was forgotten. That isn’t to say that things won’t be forgotten, or even added depending on the time of year, but having the majority of it will make planning go smoother.

Step Two: Discuss the Joint Activities

Although we often think of custody schedules as two houses having separate time with the kids, this isn’t always the case. For instance, before the separation, one parent may be volunteering as a soccer coach, which means that every weekend, whether it is their weekend or not, they will be seeing the kids. Or maybe there is a regular event that both parents always attended, such as swimming lessons, and you want to keep that same routine for the kids.

In the event of these joint activities, you need to look at how it will go work logistically. Will you schedule transitions after the event? For instance, you go to the soccer game at 10am every Saturday but there is a weekend visitation with the other parent. Do the kids stay at their primary residence on Friday night and just go to the game with their primary caregiver before leaving with the other parent, or would they come in with the other parent after leaving for visitation the night before?

Step Three: Think of Logistics

Once you have the loose schedule made, think about the logistics. Some activities might be closer to you than to your ex-partner so it may be easier to create visitation days around those activities for logistics. For instance, if music class is 10 minutes from your house but 45 minutes from your ex-partners every Thursday evening, you may want to shift a 50/50 arrangement so that you always have the child on that Thursday evening so there is less rushing to do for the other parent and vice versa.

It may seem like a minor thing but not having to lose a lot of one on one time with your kids through thinking of the kids’ activities in relation to where everyone is living will actually build a positive relationship. Everyone will feel like they are getting ample quality time with the kids, regardless of how busy the schedule is.

Step Four: Explore the Custody Agreement

If you have drafted a custody agreement, or it has been court ordered, make sure you explore the ins and outs of it to meet the agreement. This will help prevent any problems in the future with custody agreements and will also give your kids a lot of stability.

If there are set days of the weeks in the court agreement, you’ll have to stick to that, unless there is room for adjustments if both parents agree. If the agreement is down to numbers such as 50/50, 40/60, etc., you can simply plan the schedule so it works best with everyone’s schedules, including choosing time when parents have days off to possibly reduce expenses of childcare or to have those full days with the kids.

One thing to note, if you have people who do pick up and drop off, or after school childcare, make sure you factor that into the schedule as well since they will be an important part of your support team as co-parents.

Step Five: Discuss the Schedule with Your Kids

This varies depending on the age of your kids but, if they are old enough, take the time to discuss the schedule with them. I always recommend discussing this when the schedule has been drafted and take their thoughts into consideration. On things that can be changed to reflect their needs and wants, make those changes. On things that can’t be changed, sit down and discuss why it can’t be changed and why it was decided to work in this manner.

Unfortunately, kids may not like all the things in the schedule but knowing that they’ve been heard and considered really does help them with accepting the schedule.

Step Six: Test Drive that Schedule

Once you have finished drafting the schedule, it’s time to test drive it. This varies depending on the family, but I always recommend testing it for 1 to 3 months. Make note of what works, what doesn’t work and what things could use some refining. A great way to do this is through a communication journal.

Every month, go over what was working and can stay, what still needs to be looked at and what needs to be changed completely. By doing this, you can really set the schedule so it works for your kids. Even after you have it fine tuned, take the time every 6 months or so to go through the schedule and adjust it by what has changed you may even have to do it more than every six months with changing activities through the year, changes to work and so on. If there is a major change, review the schedule and adjust as needed. By following these steps, you can create a schedule that not only works for your family but is tailored to its unique and individual needs. And creating a working custody schedule will also help in building a positive co-parenting relationship between you and your ex.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Co-parenting After Divorce/Separation In The USA

Mistakes To Avoid When Co-parenting After Divorce/Separation

Co-parenting is a difficult task. After a breakup or divorce, parents’ emotions may run high, making it difficult for them to work together for their children’s sake. You may expect to err. All of us do. Real maturity consists of admitting guilt and making atonement when wrongdoing has been done. This will not only set a good example for your children to follow when they encounter challenges in life, but it will also demonstrate your commitment to being the best parent you can be.

Don’t Respect Boundaries

We recently encountered a mother who, to facilitate her ex-husband’s increased contact with the children, was planning to allow him to see the children in her home. They used to live in this home together. She often returned home to discover him occupying her bed with the kids. Despite her best efforts to explain to him otherwise, he refused to stop violating the limit she had set and refused to accept that the room was no longer his. His spare time with his family suddenly evaporated.  Although this seems like an extreme example, the same thing might happen if you don’t pay attention to limits.

Losing your temper

Divorce may make it difficult to set your wants and feelings aside and concentrate on your children’s best interests while co-parenting. You’ll inevitably lose your cool as a co-parent. Your co-parent, second only to your kids, is an expert at getting under your skin. Their words and actions may sometimes provoke you, causing you to lose perspective and control over your actions and emotions. It may be your fault occasionally, or it may be theirs.

Keep Children and Money Entangled

It requires self-control to avoid falling into this trap. Some states calculate child support based on how often each parent sees their kid. Although there are positive outcomes to this strategy, it teaches parents to combine child care with financial concerns. When disputes include both finances and parenting time, finding a solution might seem like going through the divorce process all over again.

Don’t be afraid to admit it when you’re wrong. If one parent is in the wrong and the other does not accept an apology, that parent should nonetheless make one. As a bonus, you’ll be setting a good example for your kids about how to handle disagreement and the value of being able to acknowledge when you’re wrong. An additional benefit is that you and your co-parent may begin to establish communication channels and provide an example of cooperative parenting.

Making it more about the power struggle than the children

Emotions might run high after a divorce or separation. Even the most caring parent may unintentionally use their kid to get revenge on their ex. Some parents may flout the rules or go beyond presents to seem more “fun” than their counterparts. Staying up late for ice cream or a trip to the toy shop are two simple ways that parents may make their kids happy. Refusing to make adjustments to the parenting plan when they are asked is another frequent error. It’s common for parents to defend their kids’ “unreasonable” demands or to gripe about not being given enough warning. It’s easy to slip into the trap of playing “gotcha” with other parents, and it may be difficult to detect this behavior in yourself.

Using Your Child As A Messenger Or Requesting Their Allegiance

Divorced parents often make the mistake of continuing to talk about their children with one another. You may wish to avoid your ex as much as possible once the divorce or separation is completed. However, you and your child’s other parent will still be working together for some time. It’s tempting to use your kid as a messenger between you and the other parent when you’re running late for the pick-up or just want to get something off your chest. But by doing so, you are expecting your kid to be emotionally mature enough to handle the other parent’s reaction. In addition to demonstrating your continued disagreement, this will leave your youngster feeling torn. Another pitfall is pressuring a youngster to take a stance on contentious issues like who to spend the holidays with or who to see in the event of a scheduling problem. If you give your kids a say in major life choices, you may feel like you’re being fair, but in reality, you’re placing a lot of pressure on them.

How can you avoid making these co-parenting mistakes?

Know your triggers

Identifying your triggers is an important first step. Do you hate it when pick-ups are late? Is the lack of discipline in the other parent’s home a source of anger for you? Tired of constantly replacing misplaced clothing and accessories? Frustrated by the constant eye roll? Once you’ve identified your triggers, you’ll be better able to exercise self-awareness and control over your reaction to stressful situations.

Prepare yourself for the times when things don’t go as planned

Once you and your partner have settled on a set of ground rules, you may discuss how to proceed if one parent violates them. Essentially, you’ll want to make it clear that you’ll each be allowed to hold the other parent to the terms of the agreement and to name names if one of you breaks them. You may come to an understanding along the lines of “Let’s try to keep within our ground rules.” If one parent gets too agitated, having a backup plan is important. Maybe you may agree that it would be better to take a break from the conversation and resume it when everyone’s emotions are more stable. It’s important to prepare for the inevitable unpleasant days since we all experience them.


Make sure your apologies come from a place of genuine regret and contrition when you’ve done wrong. To go from an aggressive co-parenting relationship to one that is more businesslike and courteous, an apology may work wonders.


Divorce and separation may be difficult for both parents. There will be occasions when you lose control of your emotions, namely your rage. Remember your promise to your kids, own up to your faults, and do everything you can to put them first while still growing as a parent despite the setback.

Tips for Successfully Managing Custody Schedules with 2houses

Successfully Managing Custody Schedules

Custody schedules. They can make or break a co-parenting relationship. The reason? Custody schedules are a difficult task to do. They often bring up a lot of emotions that co-parents have to navigate through, along with some situations that can be uncomfortable for everyone—including those shared events where both parents have to be present. Once they are made, co-parenting schedules can still have a lot of hiccups, which is why the 2houses app and digital platform is a must have tool for any parents who are separating or divorcing.

So what is so good about 2houses when it comes to managing custody schedules? The answer is really everything. 2houses was designed by a divorced father to make co-parenting with his ex much easier and to minimize the tension between them. Since custody schedules can often be one of the biggest areas where there are tension between parents and 2houses can help reduce that tension.

But while the app is easy to use, there are a few tips that will make the app even more successful with managing those custody schedules.

Tip Number One: Use the Repeat Event Function

Unlike a lot of apps, 2houses allows you to repeat the same event easily. Simply program it in and hit the dates that it will be repeating (such as every week or every day), then save the event. This can be a time saver and really helps with keeping you organized in as easy a way as possible. A lot of other co-parenting apps need even repetitive events to be programmed in, which can take a lot of time.

While it may not seem like a big deal, repetitive events, such as scheduled visitation, happen a lot with custody schedules and can be daunting to constantly enter. So let 2houses make custody schedules easy.

Tip Number Two: Negotiate through the App

Another great way to be successful at managing your custody schedule with 2houses is to let the app do the negotiating whenever schedules need to change. Let’s face it, while the focus is on what is best for our kids, sometimes things happen and we end up needing to cancel or shift schedules slightly, such as work commitments. That doesn’t mean that you have to give up time with your kids. What it means is that you need to renegotiate so that schedules can shift.

2houses is perfect for this. You can make a request for changes in schedule, such as needing to shift vacation time with your kids, right on the app without having to do it in person. The other parent will get the notification that a request has been made and can agree, make a different suggestion or decline. With the app, you can do all your negotiating digitally and that can avoid a lot of the tension that can come with shifts in custody schedules.

Tip Number Three: Let the App Do the Reminding

Like negotiating schedules, the 2houses app is great at making it so parents don’t have to give each other reminders. In fact, reminders can be set in the app so that parents can remember important events when they are scheduled to attend. In addition, when you have to send notes to each other, the app will send a notification to the other parent so they know that it is there.

Finally, reminders and notifications can be sent to the kids directly since 2houses is kid friendly and can be used by everyone in the family to track schedules. So if something changes in the custody schedule, you can put a note in the journal so your kids will see it too, creating stability for them in their schedules.

Tip Number Four: Send Notes Through the App

This touches on the last point but you can send notes to your kids and to your co-parent through the app. That means that you can always communicate directly and, since the app saves the communication, you will be able to have a paper trail of those messages if you ever need them for court.

Being able to send notes, you can let the other parent know if you are going to be late or if the schedule needs to change. Another great thing with the app is that you can send notes and journal about what has happened during your visitation days. This is great for parents to stay connected since transition times when kids go from one house to the other can be quite hectic and it’s easy to forget things.

The notes allow for the best communication and will help you manage both your co-parenting relationship and your custody schedule.

Tip Number Five: Let your Kids have Input

Finally, as mentioned, the kids can go and look at the journal, calendar and many sections of the 2houses app. This allows them to see what is happening with their schedules as well as have input into their schedule. Things may be happening in the kids’ lives as well, such as wanting to attend a birthday party, and they can enter that into the schedule to get both parents signing off on it, even when it cuts into visitation times.

By letting the kids have a way to give input into the custody schedule, you are letting them feel like they have some control in a situation where they often have very little. This will nurture their health and well being and will build their confidence as they navigate through separation and divorce.

In the end, the 2houses app provides families with ways to manage and navigate the custody schedule without a lot of the tension that can come with it. When you follow these tips, you can ensure that your custody schedule is optimized and you will find that life between two houses will be easier for you, your children and your ex-partner…and that is what we all want—ways to make life easier, especially at the most difficult of times.

Addressing the Unique Challenges of Co-parenting a Child with Special Needs after Divorce

Co-parenting Special Needs

When parties to a divorce have a kid with special needs, negotiating child custody, visitation rights, financial support, and property division becomes more difficult. As part of the divorce process, you should make sure that you take a comprehensive look at the unique needs of your child. As co-parents, the purpose is to address the specific situation of the kid to alter the course of the child’s life favorably. 

Every plan must provide the child with appropriate medical care, educational opportunities, and social activities. Children with special needs should be given the same chances as children who do not have special needs; nevertheless, these opportunities may need to be provided differently. To learn more about how to Co-parent a child with special needs after getting a divorce, stay on this resource.

Tips for Co-parenting Special Needs Children after Divorce

When it comes to determining the best course of action for a parenting plan after divorce, a lot of things have to be taken into consideration. The following are helpful tips for co-parenting a child with special needs after a divorce: 

Visitation Rights 

Co-parents are responsible for considering the possibility that the child with special needs requires a more stable schedule. The typical visitation arrangement for children involves the youngster going back and forth between the two parents’ homes regularly. This routine may be too stressful for a child who has special needs. Instead of scheduling brief visits with each parent regularly, it may be more beneficial to schedule lengthier visits with each parent. 

Some children have behavioral issues whenever they deviate from a previously set schedule. Therefore, co-parents need to work together to establish comparable routines. This is to make the transfer between homes go more smoothly. It is also essential that houses and medical facilities be located close. The strategy ought to include the method for housing and transmitting specialized equipment, monitoring devices, medication, and the like from one family to another.

Social Activities

The social life of a child with special needs is vital, and divorce should not affect their lifestyle. It is essential for the general development and maturation of children with special needs to participate in social and recreational activities. These activities should be enjoyable for them. In addition to contributing to their overall social and physical development, recreational sports and activities like art classes also play an essential role. Co-parents are entitled to an equal say in the scheduling, transportation, and participation decisions regarding their children’s extracurricular activities. The parenting plan should include the activities that have been agreed upon and the costs associated with those activities.

Planning Finances

When a couple decides to divorce, one of the primary concerns will sever their financial ties to one another. Most parents are concerned about their children’s futures and whether or not they will be able to maintain two households on one income. If one parent providing more care for the kid with special needs works from home, the financial worries may be even more intense. After the age of 18, your child will still require care. You must include financial provisions for him in the marital settlement agreement. 

In addition to the public assistance and government benefits that are available, you should talk about establishing a special needs trust. Your attorney may also be able to advise you on additional strategies to provide for your child. These include setting up a gifting plan or purchasing long-term care insurance. You can also specify, as part of your estate planning, whether the successor trustee has the authority to change the way the trust is managed if need be. This is something you can do if you want to make sure that the trust continues to be managed in the same manner, even if those conditions change.

Arranging Siblings’ Bonding Time

It is possible that your child with special needs may not adjust to the same custody routine as your other children while you are working out your parenting plan. In most cases, siblings maintain a consistent pattern when traveling between their parents’ residences. As a result, they can cultivate a strong sibling support system because they are always with one another. If one parent’s work is the only one that allows them the flexibility to manage their appointments, then it may make more sense for that parent to spend the majority of parenting time with the child. There is a possibility that an equal parenting-time plan will not be feasible for your family in the same way that it is for other families. Parents with special needs children need to know the importance of sibling bonding time and make adequate provisions.

Getting Outside Support

It is common practice to seek assistance from both within and outside of the family while raising a child who has special needs. Other members of the family may play an essential part in giving care. In addition, experts such as physicians, nurses, or teachers can lend a helping hand when it comes to taking care of a child who has special needs. Co-parents need to reach out to the people mentioned above for support. Your family may find that having the help of professionals is excellent assistance as they navigate this adjustment period. It is vital to make sure that these people are aware of everything that is going on with your child.


Co-parenting a kid who has special needs can be a difficult task, especially after or during the process of a divorce. Nevertheless, there are innovative approaches that co-parenting families can take to serve their children’s best interests. The ideas mentioned above are just a few examples to help special needs children remain unaffected in case of divorce. Families with special needs children should remember that specialists can assist with these concerns and more with the resources at their disposal. With the right plans in place, what seems too complicated a situation can be made easy.

Addressing School-related Issues, such as School Choice, Extracurricular Activities, and Parental Involvement

School-related issues

Getting a divorce can be an emotionally trying experience for everyone concerned. Children frequently have the experience of being caught in the drama, and the tension that they feel can hurt their academic performance. However, things do not have to be as bleak as they appear. With clear communication, thoughtful preparation, a heightened awareness of potential problems, and sufficient time, academic challenges may be overcome.

Parents can develop healthy, supportive relationships throughout the school years. It is essential to have a realistic ideal standard in place to guarantee that everyone will accomplish their planned commitments and your larger-scale objectives for the year. Stay tuned to this post for further information on how to deal with problems that arise at school following a divorce.

Handling School-related Issues after Divorce

Divorce can significantly affect school arrangements if proper plans are not implemented. Here are tips for handling school-related Challenges after divorce:

Step up a School Year Calendar

It is essential to have a transparent understanding of who is in charge of taking sign-ups and maintaining the timetable. Some families find that retaining a shared family calendar is helpful.  For the children’s benefit, the parent managing the calendar can compile a list of essential weekly activities, which the children can quickly modify as needed. You and your ex-spouse must review the official school calendar for the entire year. Both parents can arrange for days off and early dismissals and determine who will be responsible for the children in the event of illness or other unforeseen circumstances. 

It is vital to have a conversation with your children about the extracurricular events and key school functions that they would like you to attend. By doing so, you can know how to mark your calendar accordingly. Ensure that you are set up to receive the proper school notifications and that your list of people to call in case of an emergency is up to date.

Plan for Extracurricular Events After School

Create a strategy for schoolwork and extracurricular activities. The most crucial step in reducing conflict and ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding expectations is to plan. Assisting your child in concentrating on schoolwork also needs an effective plan. The more that can be written down, the better. This includes communication with teachers, household policies around schoolwork and television, who will attend school festivities, and even what children should wear to school. The same homework practices, down to the minutiae, should be agreed upon by both parents.

Parent-to-Parent Communication

Parents must agree on the academic preparation the child should receive while still in school. They should reach a consensus on who will take the child to visit colleges and what types of colleges the child will consider attending. Whoever takes the child should also agree to report back to the other parent. The parents reach a consensus on the children’s after-school activities as well. This includes the number of activities that will be participated in, who will pay for what, and how the children’s academic achievement and the parents’ concerns will impact the after-school activities.

Emotional Support

Outside of the environment of a public school, parents can continue to promote their child’s emotional adjustment by establishing routines at home. It is essential to help children experience the stability that is necessary for them to thrive. Having both divorced parents agree to the same afterschool routine can give their child a more profound feeling of foundation and security. In an ideal situation, children of divorced parents can adhere to the same standards about homework, playtime, and sleep.

Communication between Parents and Teachers

Parents can ask to speak with teachers, principals, school social workers, or guidance counselors. If a student spends time with both of their parents during the week, the student’s parents have the right and the responsibility to request two copies of everything. This includes report cards, school information, and even textbooks. Those students who are having difficulty with an assignment, such as sending in a photo of their family, should let their instructor know how difficult it was for them.

Financial Commitment

The beginning of each new school year often involves many different costs. There are divorced couples who agree to split each expense. Also, some do so in a manner that corresponds with the respective proportion of their income levels. There are also divorced couples who prefer to make a list of all of their expenses and then divide them. Consider carefully the amount of money that your children should put in, whether it be through an allowance, babysitting, or other tasks.

Both parents must be financially responsible, but it is even more essential in situations where the family’s assets and income are being shared between two people. In addition to being aware of and practical regarding the amount each family member ought to contribute to the costs, it is essential to be clear regarding the mechanics of signing up for activities and paying for them. This becomes an even more pressing concern when the children progress through the educational levels of middle school, high school, and college.

Divide your Child’s time appropriately

Make sure that your child gets adequate time with both parents. Children require time with both of their parents. The key to success in child custody agreements, including joint custody, is formulating a plan that enables the child to spend time with each parent. This is done without subjecting children to an excessive number of unnecessary transitions while in school. The children’s timetables, including when assignments are due, extracurricular activities, and emergency procedures, should be made known to both parents. This will ensure no surprises, which will significantly lessen the amount of stress experienced. The schedule ought to include well-defined requirements, but it should, at the same time, leave room for maneuverability.


There are tremendous implications of a divorce involving children. Parents must be actively engaged to ensure their children’s academic life doesn’t suffer. Children can experience emotional damage as a result of their parent’s divorce. But with the right plans and frequent parent-to-parent communication, ex-spouses can appropriately manage things. Also, if parents maintain constant contact with their children’s teachers, they can assist. A child will have an easier time adjusting to the dramatic changes accompanying divorce if parents communicate well with their child’s teacher.

How the 2houses Communication Journal will Improve your Co-Parenting

Communication Journal

Communication journals are a valuable tool that allow parents to communicate information in a brief, effective and to the point manner. By having the ability to use a communication journal, parents can be organized, and can often avoid many of the different scenarios, such as discussing expenses in face to face interactions, which can lead to conflict.

When we look at 2houses, we need to be aware of the whole app as a communication journal. Not only does it allow you to set calendars for visitation arrangements, appointments and other events happening for your children, but it also offers a budgeting feature, albums for apps and a specific communication journal. All of the features together help you become more organized, but the communication journal is the feature we will be focusing on because it has many benefits that will improve your co-parenting.

2houses Communication Journal Allows Families to Connect

During separation and divorce, the feeling of connectedness can be affected for both the parents and the children. Before the separation, kids had access to both parents, often on a daily basis unless work affected this. Afterward, parents and children quickly realize that that access is no longer guaranteed and there can be a significant length of time between visitations.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that parents can begin to feel isolated from their children and from the parenting role. The 2houses communication journal can help with feeling connected to your children in several ways, including having an album to share photos and albums, allows the parent and children to share messages and getting updates from the other co-parent that includes information on news, events and other needed information.

These feelings of connectedness help parents improve their co-parenting relationship. They know that they will still have indirect contact when children aren’t with them and this will enable co-parents to respect each other’s time with the children. This, in turn, can reduce stress and resentment between co-parents, which can make the relationship run smoother than without the 2houses communication journal.

2houses Communication Journal Creates a Sense of Stability for Children

As mentioned already, children have the opportunity to share on the communication journal. The app is very user friendly and this means that kids can use the app very easily. They can share the photos and videos that they’d like to share with the co-parent they are not with during the day, or even with parents where they are. They can also send quick messages to ground themselves.

By having ways to connect to both your children and their other parent, you can create a schedule, routines and rules that provide predictability for your children. And when you have that predictability, you will notice marked differences in your children’s emotional and mental well-being.

2houses Communication Journal Helps During Times of High Tension or Conflict

Another notable feature of the 2houses communication journal is that you can use it during those periods of co-parenting that are full of tension. This can occur during separation and divorce, especially during hearings and other court motions through which you are working. It can also happen later in co-parenting and may be caused by simple events that may not even have anything to do with the kids. For example, having to go through a move can add stress to one co-parent, which can lead to more opportunities for conflicts to occur because stress levels are on the rise.

With the 2houses communication journals, you or your ex-partner can take a step back and move to communication through the app only. This will help prevent conflict and you can recenter your focus to the needs of the children only. It is important to remember that the communication journal should focus on topics regarding the kids and not other arguments that you are having with your ex-partner.

Another point to mention in this category is that the 2houses communication journal allows parents to discuss conflict or tension topics in the communication journal. Some examples of this is changes in visitation dates, and expenses. By using the communication journal, you are less likely to fall into an argument than you would be if you were discussing this in person. As an aside, the budget feature on 2houses is an integral tool for dealing with shared expenses.

2houses Communication Journals Support Busy Schedules

Let’s face it, life is busy and having two houses for your children to switch back and forth from, it can be even busier. For that reason, it can be really difficult to meet to work on the co-parenting relationship. Sometimes, co-parents have only a few minutes as children transfer from one parent to the other…and with the kids being there, it can be difficult to really discuss important issues that parents need a few quiet moments to explore together. Which is why the 2houses communication journal can improve co-parenting because it allows a way for co-parents to mediate and work on their co-parenting relationship without having to set aside large amounts of time from their already busy schedule.

2houses Communication Journals Can Navigate Difficult Relationships

Finally, not everyone has good co-parenting relationships and may have to co-parent with an abusive or high-conflict ex-partner. In these instances, having an ability to communicate with that co-parent, in regard to the children, allows parents to focus on the kids without having to connect with each other. This keeps parents safe, prevents reverting to old patterns of abuse and creates safer dynamics within the co-parenting relationship. Communication isn’t always an easy step with co-parenting. There are so many factors that need to be taken into consideration but the 2houses communication journal offers a wide range of options that make communication easier. And when communication is flowing freely between co-parents, everyone will benefit and your co-parenting skills will only improve.

Tips for managing holidays, vacations, and special occasions after divorce, including negotiating visitation schedules and making new traditions.

special occasions after divorce

Dealing with the aftermath of a divorce is stressful under any circumstances, but doing so over the holiday season adds an extra layer of difficulty. It means spending more time with family members, some of whom may or may not be supportive of the significant changes you are making. It involves listening to opinions you did not ask for, even when the people offering them may have good intentions. It’s also possible that you won’t be able to participate in some rituals you enjoy.

The holidays and vacations typically increase the number of commitments, activities, and other demands on your time. When you factor in all of your usual activities, you may have a formula for disaster on your hands. Nevertheless, you can successfully manage the holidays after a divorce if you plan appropriately. Read this article to learn more details on this topic.

How to Handle Holidays After Getting Divorced

In the following paragraphs, you will find some helpful recommendations that can guide your decisions and preparation for the holidays after a divorce:

1.    Never Spend the Holidays Alone

Avoid going through the holidays by yourself after divorce. Although time spent by oneself can be very therapeutic, it is beneficial to the mind to socialize occasionally with other people and to make an effort to do so. You should try not to be alone with your thoughts for an excessive amount of time, and you should not avoid spending time with your family and friends. Spend as much time as possible with your loved ones during the holiday. This is to prevent your mind from wandering to your failed marriage and the possibilities it once held.

2.    Plan the holiday with your ex-spouse for your children

Cooperate with your ex-spouse so that the best interests of your children can be served.

Your children are the one thing that you and your ex-spouse will continue to share even after you’ve divorced one other. Nobody else is involved in the divorce save you and your spouse-to-be. Permit the youngsters to celebrate the holidays. If you and your ex-spouse work together toward a common objective, the holiday season can be as joyful for your children as it was in years past. Please find a way to maximize everyone’s enjoyment of the holidays so that everyone feels like they got their money’s worth.

3.    Create New Traditions

When there is a change in the dynamic of a family, new holiday traditions naturally emerge. Create brand new customs that are exclusive to your family. Experiment with something exciting and novel. During the holidays, it can be difficult for families that have been through a divorce. One strategy that can help is for the surviving family members to work together to start new family traditions. Single parents and their children should establish a new norm for themselves. Find out what your children want to do. Keep an open mind about new concepts. You could be the one to initiate something fresh that they will never forget.

4.    Maintain Discipline With Holiday Plans

When you finally have a plan, you should try to adhere to it. Remember that you are only one person and that you have certain constraints. Remember not to take on every responsibility. Do not pack your agenda to the point where you feel choked with duties. Ensure that there is room for flexibility. Take some time after each day to reflect briefly on the events. Keep doing what is working, and try to figure out why what you did before wasn’t working.

5.    Make Flexible Plans

Maintain your flexibility in the face of unforeseen scheduling conflicts. Swap shifts as much as you can so that the children can participate in activities that are important to them. Everyone will need to make adjustments to their typical holiday customs to remain healthy and safe. When it is not possible to change your parenting time plan, it is essential to be clear about the reasons why this is the case. You should also ensure that the cause is not simply that giving in to your ex-spouse would not make you happy.

6.    Plan for Gifting

Gift-giving is yet another aspect that can aggravate relationships throughout the holiday season. Many times, parents have varying gift budgets as well as different expectations regarding presents. Gifts received throughout the holiday season can also bring up legal custody problems. Before making significant purchases, you must discuss them with your ex-spouse if your co-parenting arrangement permits it. This will prevent arguments and feelings of letdown.

7.    Pay attention to other people

One more approach to have pleasure in the holiday season is to direct your attention to those who are less well off than you. You could think that you are the unluckiest person in the world at times. However, if you are willing to acknowledge that things are not as bad as they could be, you can make it through both your divorce and the holidays. Volunteering might be something you want to look into doing. When you focus on making the lives of those less fortunate than you more joyful, an incredible thing will happen. You will forget about your challenges and grow more appreciative of what you already have.

8.    Be Cheerful

When getting a divorce, it might appear strange to feel any emotion other than some form of distress. A divorce is a distressing experience that can nearly completely consume one’s life. Nevertheless, if you find that the holiday activities are making you feel happier, savor that emotion to the fullest. You have every right to be joyful and enjoy the holiday season just as much as everyone else.


Your life will go through a period of significant transition after divorce. Most people find that divorce and separation result in an increase in obligations and a drop in financial resources and free time. Make sure you take all of these things into consideration during the Christmas season. If you do, it will be much simpler for you to be realistic about your expectations for yourself, your family, and the holidays. Remember that you do not stand alone. If you are having trouble, you should think about going to a support group so that you may talk to other people who are going through the same problems that you are.

The Importance of Keeping a Communication Journal in Co-Parenting

Communication Journals

When it comes to co-parenting, communication is a huge part of it. We need to communicate, whether it is about visitation schedules, updates on doctor’s appointments, information about school events and a myriad of other reasons, communication helps co-parenting run smoothly. However, sometimes it can be difficult to communicate or there can be times when communication isn’t possible. It is in these moments that a co-parenting communication journal is incredibly important.

What is a Co-Parenting Communication Journal?

A communication journal is a tool that parents use for communication. This can be through the communication journal on 2houses or another journaling app. It can also be just a regular journal that travels with the child as he or she goes from house to house. 

The key feature of the communication journal is to be a mediator or facilitator of information about the children as they go from house to house. Journals usually have short notes in them but you can also incorporate other features into the journal that include calendars and other things.

Co-Parenting Communication Journals Helps Avoid Conflict

One of the best reasons to use a communication journal is in those periods where there is a high level of conflict. This can be at any time but especially useful when you are first separating and going through the divorce progress. When you use a journal, you are less likely to argue in person. Communication can stay focused, such as when you need to discuss expenses, and you can avoid all verbal conversations until that high tension has passed or you work through the final dealings of the divorce.

Co-Parenting Communication Journals Keeps Dialogue Brief and to the Point

When you are communicating verbally, it can be really easy to meander into other conversations or even use language that could increase tension. In emails and other communication methods, it can be easy to fall into that same habit where you just say everything you are feeling at once. A communication journal allows you to collect your thoughts, sift through those emotions and then focus on those key pieces of information that you need to relay.

With communication journals, you can be brief and to the point about the information. The communication journal is not a place to dress down behaviour or make long communications. And, since many older children have access to communication journals and may read it, parents can be reminded to keep all dialogue to the point and brief, which prevents arguments from getting into the journal. 

Co-Parenting Communication Journals Center Focus on the Kids

The main use of the co-parenting communication journal is so that you can effectively parent as part of a team. While the team looks different than it did during the relationship, it is still a team that needs to be present for your child’s mental health. With that being said, all communication that goes into a co-parenting communication journal should be about the kids or the schedule around visitations. If you know you are going to be late for a visitation because of an appointment, you can put it in the co-parenting journal for your ex-partner to know and be prepared for. 

The co-parenting journal allows you to be transparent about things while keeping the entire focus on the kids and not on other things happening in the separation or divorce.

Co-Parenting Communication Journals Enables you to Create Consistency in Routines and Rules

Another great part of having a co-parenting communication journal is that it really enables parents to create stability and predictability for kids. This means that you can list out rules in their communication journal that is followed by both homes. For instance, if the child has a bedtime of 8pm, then that bedtime is 8pm regardless of where they are. 

You can also use the communication journal to make changes to routines and rules. For example, during the summer, you may decide to go to a movie that won’t end until after that bedtime. It is easy to let the other parent know in the communication journal ahead of time that it will be happening. It isn’t to gain permission but just so you are open about the slight change in routine, that way, if the other parent is planning a late night summer event, they can plan it so it isn’t two nights in the row or cutting into pick up time the next morning because kids are sleeping in.

The consistency of a communication journal makes co-parenting much easier than it could be without it. So this is definitely one of the most important reasons to have a co-parenting communication journal because ensuring that your children have the stability, they need will ensure that they are happier and healthier living between two homes. 

Co-Parenting Communication Journals Keep you Organized

Finally, co-parenting journals are a way that keep you organized. You can write out schedules for the kids, if there are sudden appointments that the other co-parent needs to go to, or if there is a sudden expense that came up. Or, in the event of health problems, the communication journal can keep doctor’s appointments and medications organized no matter where the child is staying. The journal can document all of these things. 

For co-parenting communication journal apps, such as 2houses, they expand on the co-parenting communication journals with budget organizers, calendars to schedule everything, albums to share photos and the journal itself so parents can be completely prepared and organized as co-parents. 

As you can see, there are many reasons why a communication journal is so important for co-parenting. You can stay focused on the needs of your kids, keep a sense of stability for your children, which improves their mental well-being, and avoid those conflicts that can arise in co-parenting arrangements, especially at the beginning. So what are you waiting for? You, your kids and your ex-partner will only benefit from having a co-parenting communication journal.

How to Manage Conflict with Your Ex-Partner When Co-Parenting

Manage conflit ex partner

Conflict happens; after all, you are moving through a separation and divorce and that time is always high conflict and high tension. Of course, you don’t want that conflict when you are co-parenting your children for their well-being and happiness. But how do you manage that conflict? In this article, we will go over some amazing tips that will help you get through those high conflict moments in your co-parenting arrangements.

Before we look at those tips, it is important to stress that managing conflict quickly is very important for co-parenting. If you don’t manage that conflict in a mature and timely manner, it can cause more damage to the co-parenting relationship and can lead to more conflict occurring and a harder relationship overall. Tackling hard issues means that you and your ex-partner can focus on what’s important for the best interests of your kids.

Build a Foundation of Trust

This really isn’t something that you do in the middle of a conflict, but it is so important in managing conflict as you can move through it much faster when you have a foundation of trust. To do this, make sure that you are consistent and reliable in your co-parenting—give important updates quickly, make sure you are always on schedule for visitations, etc., and be honest about expenses. 

When you have trust, you will find that conflicts occur at a lower rate and are resolved much faster than when you don’t. 

Avoid Taking Offense

The second tip that you should always follow is to avoid taking offense for several reasons. First, the co-parent may only be trying to explain how they are feeling about a situation. Second, when you take offense, you end up being emotional as well, which can compound and complicate the conflict. Third, it is easier to really understand what the conflict is about without having to worry about being offended.

Sometimes, when you approach it in this manner, you realize that there are legitimate concerns. Even if the concerns aren’t, for your co-parent, they clearly are so you can approach it level-headed and help them see where the misunderstanding is or where you can both get to a resolution much faster than if you are both upset. 

Choose Communication that is Low-Conflict

Low-conflict communication should never be confused with being a pushover. What we mean when we say low conflict is that you stick to facts and avoid meeting your ex-partner with the same energy. If you become defensive or angry, it can lead to further conflicts and a breakdown of the co-parenting arrangement that you have.

In moments when you can’t be low conflict, take a step back. You want to avoid engaging in the similar manner. One analogy that many therapists make is that arguments and conflict is like stepping into a sandbox. For every minute you are in the sandbox arguing, you revert a year in age. Within 15 minutes, you are suddenly at the same emotional level as a teen (or younger) and it can become impossible to be rational after that point.

When you feel yourself being pulled into that sandbox, take a break. You are no longer together as partners and you can say, I need a few minutes to collect myself, or I can’t talk right now as I’m too upset. Once you are able to collect yourself, return to the conflict or, if you find it impossible not to match emotions, move to journal communication to avoid as much conflict as possible. 

Don’t Shy Away From Apologies

Finally, don’t shy away from apologizing. We all make mistakes and it is important to identify your own mistakes in a conflict. It might be a minor or reactionary mistake, but you should still apologize. 

Even if you don’t apologize, don’t play the blame game. Move away from it and say, this happened so how do we fix it for the kids. In addition, if you are not at fault at all, and are receiving the apology, try to accept the apology without any type of retaliatory behaviour. 

Once the apology is made, make sure that you do not hold grudges and encourage the same from your ex-partner. Grudges will only lead to more conflict and will harm the relationships you and your ex-partner have with your children.

What Should I do If my Ex-Partner is High Conflict?

First, we should let you know that it happens. Even with the best mediation that money can buy, some ex-partners can’t move behind the emotions they felt from getting divorced. Second, you shouldn’t force a relationship if your ex-partner is abusive and has continued that behaviour after the divorce. In that case, co-parenting apps, like 2houses, can make it much easier to navigate and avoid the ex-partner as needed. 

If your ex-partner is a high conflict co-parent, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

  1. Accept that he or she is high conflict. This can be difficult but when you accept it, you’ll find that you don’t have to control the outcome. All you need to do is focus on your own emotions, not step into the conflict and focus on the kids. The 2houses app works excellent in providing that space where you can manage your emotions or navigating your ex-partners without a lot of conflict.
  2. Set boundaries for yourself. We often think of this is in boundaries that you tell your high conflict ex-partner about but it isn’t. These are boundaries that you are going to set just for you that you don’t have to let your ex-partner know. This can be that you won’t defend yourself. You won’t respond to messages right away, or you will only meet your ex-partner for child transfer with other people present. Having boundaries can keep you from reacting in a high conflict manner and may help reduce his or her high conflict tendencies.
  3. Discuss things with your child. If your ex-partner is badmouthing you, it is important to not badmouth your ex back to the child, but neither should you just ignore the badmouthing. Kids can become scared by things said and if you don’t discuss it, they could believe it as truth. Discuss what was said, their emotions about it and if it was true, or partially true. You can tell them that their other parent is upset with you and sometimes, even adults say mean, hurtful things when they are upset. 

In the end, high conflict is not good for anyone in the relationship so it is important for you to correct these things before they go too far. Find ways to communicate with your co-parent through mediation or a mediation app like 2houses so you don’t feed into each other’s emotions. Once you can manage those conflicts quickly and efficiently, you can focus on enjoying the new dynamic you have with your children as a co-parent. 

Important Ways to Emotionally Support Canadian Children Whose Parents are Separating

Parents are separating

During separation, negative emotions can be difficult to overcome for everyone involved. In fact, many times, parents tend to focus on their own emotions because separation often occurs because of a break down in the marriage. However, studies have shown that children suffer from a wide range of emotional repercussions during separation.

According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, separation, and later divorce, can lead to a number of negative outcomes` for Canadian children when it comes to their emotional, mental, psychosocial and physical well being. It is for this reason that Canadian parents should focus on emotionally supporting their children during separation…and this article explores the ways that you can support your children.

Emotionally Supporting Canadian Children while Discussing Separation

Before we launch into ways that you can support your children during the separation, it’s important to start at the beginning—the separation. Many parents struggle on whether to talk about the separation or how much to talk about the separation. In addition, the age of the children can make it confusing about what to tell them and what level will start to cause distress for the children.

The answer is complicated but regardless of what you tell your children, it is important to focus on their needs and emphasize that they are still loved. One of the many things that children feel during separation is parents leaving for good if they stop loving them. When telling your children about the separation, make sure you always focus on that fear and assure them that, no matter what, you will be there for them, even if you don’t live in the same house.

Other things that are recommended are:

  1. Make a plan before telling your children. It is important to discuss when to talk, what to say and also who will be doing the majority of talking.
  2. Avoid the blame game when telling your children. Even though emotions will be high at this point, you want to avoid blaming the other parent. Children need to be neutral in separation and should not be forced to choose sides or be resentful of one parent.
  3. Allow the children to talk. One of the first steps to supporting them emotionally is to let them talk…and you don’t have to come up with solutions. Sometimes, kids just want to have their concerns heard, they don’t want a solution so only offer solutions if they ask a direct question. Give them the space and time they need to process the news.
  4. Don’t get upset if children don’t react the way you expect. This doesn’t mean they don’t care but kids can focus on things that would seem strange to adults. They may be worried about where all their toys are going to stay or how they’ll have their bedtime stories if one parent always does it. This is their way of worrying about the separation, even if it doesn’t seem like it.
  5. Make sure they understand they are not to blame. Many kids take the blame for a separation, even if they are older and understand it better. It is important to tell kids that they are not the reason for the separation and that it is an adult problem that they did nothing to cause.

Once you have discussed the separation with your children, many parents begin the process of separation, which includes moving to separate homes. It is in this time that it is important to continue to meet the children’s emotional needs.

Emotionally Supporting Canadian Children During the Separation

Now that you have started the separation, it can be a bit more difficult to emotionally support your child through the separation; however, it is imperative that you do so. While it may not seem necessary, it is recommended that you seek emotional support for your child through a trained professional. In Canada, some mental health supports are covered under the national health plan. To find services near you, it is recommended that you reach out to your family physician for a referral. From there, your family can be connected to the Canadian Mental Health Association that will link your children to important child and youth mental health services.

Having someone to speak to, other than their parents, can be one of the best emotional supports that you provide for your children during the separation as it gives them their own safe space to work through any emotions they might be afraid to discuss with you or your ex-partner.

Other ways to emotionally support your children during separation are:

  1. Discuss visitation and living arrangements and how it will affect your children. Keep them informed on things as you both come to agreements. Kids don’t need to be asked what they’d prefer, unless they are older, but once you have discussed what visitations will look like and where kids will be living the majority of the time (or if you are splitting the time), let the kids know about it. The more they know about their routine, the more they will be able to cope with the emotions around the changes.
  2. Keep those routines similar. Along with letting kids know where they will be, make sure that you keep routines as consistent to the way they were before you separated. If you need to make some routines different, try to gradually ease into those routine changes. The more predictability children have, the easier the transition will be for them emotionally.
  3. Join support groups or organizations. If you can, find other families and children who spend their time between two homes. This can help normalize what is happening in your family and you can also get support and tips on co-parenting for yourself and your ex-partner.
  4. Give them access to their old world. This relates to friends, aunts, uncles, cousins and the like. It is very common for kids to lose extended family and friends when a separation occurs due to the change in housing or family dynamics. When it is possible, allow them access to the old world. Be sure to schedule access during family events so they can stay connected to your side of the family. In addition, if the kids had to move, try to find ways for them to connect with their old friends. Having these additional connections can help them avoid feeling isolated and alone.
  5. Keep your kids out of the battle. During separation, it can be easy to bring your kids into the battle by talking bad about the other parent, or using them to relay messages. This is very stressful for the children, forces them to chose sides and can increase their stress and does not provide any emotional support. Instead, keep conversations civil, don’t badmouth each other and communicate through a communication journal if you can’t have positive interactions.

As you can see, there are many ways that you can support your children during support, including Canadian supports through various Canadian organizations. By supporting them now, you can reduce the long term effects that can occur when children are not properly supported.