Because it can be difficult to send your children away to the other parent for their custody time, the time spent in exchanges can be prime grounds for potential conflict.
In order to minimize animosity or tension, you and your co-parent can institute guidelines ahead of time to ensure smoother exchanges.
1. Establish boundaries in your decree
From avoiding public arguments to determining who is responsible for transportation in each aspect of an exchange, co-parents can set forth boundaries and instructions to ensure every swap is as peaceful and orderly as possible.
Your decree or child custody order should dictate where exchanges occur, who transports the child to or from the other parent and set limits on what can and cannot happen in front of the children.
2. Adhere to any court orders
After you and your co-parent have an established legal arrangement, it is important to follow each court decision faithfully. If the court deems supervised exchanges necessary, or if exchanges must happen at a particular time and place, co-parents are legally bound to the terms of the arrangement and cannot deviate from the plan. Violation of the terms may result in court intervention or legal action.
3. Prioritize your child’s best interests
Though it may be challenging to keep the peace with a co-parent you find unbearable, exchanges are a great time to demonstrate you and the other parent can put the child’s wellbeing ahead of your own animosity.
Should you or the other parent fail to keep the child’s best interests in mind, you may seek additional court approval for a change in the child custody exchange guidelines, including the use of a trusted person who can deliver the child or the addition of a neutral party to supervise exchanges.