Guidelines For Children’s Personal Belongings

When parents of minor children end their relationship, there are often questions about what to do about the children’s personal belongings.  If the minor child is spending some time with each parent, here are some considerations both parents should keep in mind:

1 – For comfort or special items like a lovey or stuffed animal, it is best to allow the child to bring the item from house to house. It gives the child some consistency and can make the transition easier.

2 – For clothes and toiletries, we tell parents it’s best to have these items at both houses. Having a toothbrush, hairbrush, and clothes at each parents’ house will avoid the risk of forgetting the necessary items at the other parent’s home. Each parent should also have weather appropriate clothing at their house, such as winter coats, hats, boots, sunscreen, bug spray, etc. so the child is well prepared for the weather.

3 – Special gifts sometimes present tricky situations.  One parent may give the child an expensive gift, and want the child to keep the gift at that home. However, from the child’s point of view, he or she may be really excited about the toy and want to bring it to the other parent’s house.  If you are not willing to allow the child to take the gift to the other parent’s home, you should explain that to the child well in advance.

Transferring from one home to another can be tough on kids.  Consider your child’s best interest when you decide how to handle their personal belongings.  Making the transition easier for the children will make the transition easier on the parents as well.

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