The transfer of physical custody from one parent to another can lead to heated verbal exchanges and emotional turmoil. Even if the parents generally get along, personal factors and parenting disagreements can turn an uneventful meeting tense. While it might be impossible to account for every scenario, there are things you can do to keep everything civil.
Here are some steps you can take to ensure the child custody exchange process runs smoothly from start to finish.
- Select a neutral location that is safe and convenient: While it might be common for one parent to drive the child to the other parent’s home, it might make more sense to find a neutral location between both homes. For example, a public location like a school, daycare or even a mall food court might present a safer area.
- Be accompanied by a neutral third party: Introducing a non-partisan individual into the scenario might help to diffuse tensions. A school official, for example, or a car-pooling co-worker can provide a buffer between you and your ex.
- Select another individual to complete the exchange: It is not uncommon for emotions to run high between former spouses. Disagreements about support or child-rearing are often common. In these situations, it might be wise to appoint a friend or family member to make the exchange in your place.
- Always arrive on time: This might seem like a simple suggestion but being late for the custody exchange can make tempers flare. At the very least, you should communicate any issues with your ex. Car trouble, challenging weather or other unforeseen circumstances should be communicated immediately.
- Avoid fights: It is important to take the high road. If you see that a situation is spiraling out of control, it is wise to simply agree to disagree rather than forcing your own mindset. Perhaps stepping away for a moment can let tempers cool down. True disputes centered on custody or support should be handled through the legal system.
Even in the best of situations, a child custody exchange can be a tense affair. Based on numerous factors, parents might disagree and are struggling to stay neutral. It is wise to follow these tips and remove as much stress from the situation as possible.