If you are divorced and co-parenting children, you know that you will have deal with your former spouse as long as he/she is in your child's life. The most amicable divorces work out custody agreements that are in the best interest of the children with all adults agreeing to, and sticking to, the arrangements. Everyone is cordial and custody exchanges run smoothly. But what if you aren't one of the lucky ones? What if your ex-husband or ex-wife is hot tempered or high-conflict? How can your ensure your safety and the safety of your children during your scheduled custody exchanges?
Set up a "no contact" exchange
Perhaps the easiest exchange for everyone is one that allows for no contact between the parents. An example of this would be if you drop your child off at school on Friday morning, then your ex picks your child up after school to spend the weekend with your kiddo. On Monday morning, your ex drops your child off at school and you will pick him/her up in the afternoon. This allows the exchange to occur without any direct contact between you, eliminating all potential for conflict.
Pick-ups and drop-offs at private homes leave open many opportunities for arguments to erupt when you are dealing with a high-conflict person. Instead of going to your former spouse's home or having him/her come to yours, consider an exchange in a public place. Some of the factors you should consider when selecting an exchange point are:
Places like shopping malls or grocery store parking lots are good options as all three of the above factors are generally present in those areas. You can also consider fast food restaurants or public libraries. As a last resort, there are even businesses that will provide exchange locations and staff to make sure your exchange goes well.
Police Department Exchanges
If you truly fear for your safety, perhaps the ideal place for a custody exchange is right there at the police department. It's most likely your former spouse would be on his/her best behavior in front of the police, but if something still goes wrong, there is no better place to be than among the very people who are sworn to protect and serve. Some police stations will allow custody exchanges to be done in their lobbies, while others will ask that you utilize the parking lot, but either way a police department exchange is probably your safest option in a volatile situation.
Co-parenting is hard, even among the friendliest of former spouses. It's harder still if your relationship is strained and high-conflict. Making sure child custody exchanges go as smoothly as possible is best for you, your ex and your child. To learn more, visit Nelson Law Group PC.Share
12 February 2015
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