At the start and end of your custody time, you must meet your children’s co-parent to exchange physical custody. Unsurprisingly, the custody hand-off process can be a source of friction for newly divorced parents.
While you can take a few steps to minimize conflict during the exchange, choosing the right hand-off location is essential. In fact, you should probably address the matter when negotiating and writing your parenting plan or custody agreement.
Avoid obvious problems
Even if you and your ex-spouse did not have a nasty divorce, you may not be entirely comfortable visiting his or her home. Your ex may have the same feelings. To avoid obvious problems, choose a neutral location. Your children’s school, for example, may be the right option.
Focus on the children
Just as adjusting to their post-divorce lives can be challenging for kids, the custody exchange may cause them to experience anger, sadness or anxiety. Focusing on the children when selecting your hand-off site may help.
Choosing a location that has some entertainment options is probably a good idea. After all, you may have to wait for your children’s co-parent to arrive. Likewise, you must designate a spot that is both safe and environmentally appropriate.
While the interests of your children are your highest priority, you also want the exchange location to be as convenient as possible for you and your ex-spouse. Opting for a place that is roughly equidistant between your home and your children’s co-parent’s residence may make sense.
Even though choosing the perfect exchange location requires some work, doing so is worth the effort. With a convenient and child-focused custody hand-off site, you ensure a smooth transition to kick off and conclude your regular parenting time.