If you and your ex-spouse have a joint custody of your children, you must swap the kids at the beginnings and ends of your parenting time. Even if you did not have a particularly bitter divorce, the custody exchange has the potential to cause friction between you and your children’s co-parent.
While you cannot control your ex-spouse’s emotional reactions, sharing custody often requires taking steps to minimize conflict. Choosing the right custody exchange location is a good first one. Here are three tips for picking the right place to hand off your kids.
1. Pick a neutral spot
Until you and your ex-spouse acclimate to your post-divorce lives, you probably do not want to visit each other’s home. Instead, pick a neutral spot to meet and trade the kids. After all, if you regularly fight during a custody exchange, your children may suffer long-term harm.
2. Think about accessibility
Both you and your children’s co-parent want to reach the exchange location as quickly and easily as possible. Therefore, try to choose a convenient site that is easily accessible. If you or your ex-spouse relies on public transportation, for example, you may want to select a location that is near a bus or METRORail line.
3. Investigate safety concerns
Obviously, you do not want to harm yourself, your children or their co-parent when exchanging the kids. While you may not be able to eliminate all safety risks, you should choose a reasonably safe exchange location.
Nevertheless, if your ex-spouse has a history of violence or you have other concerns about your personal safety or the custody exchange, you may want to hand off the kids at a police station.