You know that conflict makes divorce harder on children, but it is still so hard to have to see your ex every couple of days to exchange custody. Especially if they keep showing up late or with their new romantic partner in the front passenger seat of their car, you may want to give them a piece of your mind.
However, arguing during custody exchanges will only worsen your relationship with your ex and add a lot of stress to the experience for your children. A couple of simple rules could help you avoid conflict during those transitional times.
Agree to only communicate about crucial details in person
Unless your children are so small that you need to physically place them in a car seat, you may not need to interact with your ex at all during the custody exchange directly. You can just let them in the house or wait for them to enter your vehicle without talking to your ex.
You could still wave to acknowledge them so as not to be rude without starting a conversation that might devolve into an argument. If you do have to talk face-to-face, it should only be about important details that you can’t communicate otherwise at the moment.
Ask for help from someone else or meet in a place with witnesses
Do your parents live in town so that they could be the ones to hand off your child every Friday night? It may be possible to arrange for someone else to be physically present for the custody exchange until your relationship reaches a better point. If that is not an option, then you might want to consider exchanging custody someplace that there are witnesses, like the parking lot of the local police station.
Being proactive about avoiding disputes while sharing custody can help you and reduce the stress on your children.