Unfortunately, divorcing parents can sometimes get territorial about their children’s possessions as well. However, it’s crucial to recognize that your child’s possessions – from skis to electronics to books to stuffed animals — are theirs. They are not yours to divide or determine where they have to stay.
Your child’s home includes both of yoursIf you start feeling territorial about the doll you bought your child when you visited the American Girl store or the jersey you got one of your clients to autograph for your child, it’s important to remember that their home now extends across both of your homes. That means they can take or keep things where they choose – within reason, of course.
As much as possible, kids should have the things they need in both homes, including computers, bedding and toiletries and clothes, and both homes should feel comfortable for them. They shouldn’t have to pack and unpack any more than necessary as they move between them.
Kids should feel free to play with their things in whatever home they’re inWhat parents need to avoid is forbidding a child from taking something to their co-parent’s home because they purchased it for them. Likewise, parents shouldn’t tell their child they can’t play with something in their home because their ex’s new significant other gave it to them.
Of course, that doesn’t mean letting them leave something you know they’ll be asking for – or needing – in a couple of days. However, the decisions about what they keep where should never be based on their parents’ emotions around them. That can be extremely difficult to do. However, it’s what’s best for your child.
Some parents find it helpful to put a provision in their parenting plan along with any details about what each parent will provide in their home that addresses their child’s freedom to take their belongings between homes and leave them as they choose. With sound legal guidance, you can address this matter before it becomes a problem.