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What should you do when your children are with your ex?

When people think about child custody cases, they always focus on the time they get to spend with the children. They put far less thought into all of this time that they'll now be alone, when their kids are with their ex.

It's that time that can be very hard for parents. Even with a completely even split, you still spend 50 percent of your time by yourself. How can you cope with that?

One key is to remember that the decisions you made were based on the children's best interests. Perhaps you and your spouse argued all the time, so you knew the kids would be happier if you were no longer together. Maybe you knew it was important for them to spend time with both parents, so that's why you agreed to joint custody. When you remember how good it is for the children, it makes it easier for you.

Another important thing is to find ways to enjoy that time. Don't just sit around waiting for the kids to come back. Take up hobbies you have always put off. Spend more time with your friends. Get more involved with local organizations. When you fill your time, you don't think about not being with the children.

Finally, put your energy into enjoying the time you do get with the kids. Never miss their events at school. Go to basketball games and soccer games. Take trips and vacations. Make memories in the time you have.

As you and your spouse work through your divorce, especially when dividing up custody of the kids, make sure you understand your legal rights.

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