The following is a guest post by Diana C. Schimmel, Esquire of the Law Office of Diana C. Schimmel.
Bringing or picking up your child from his or her other parent at the time of a child custody exchange can be stressful for all parties; you, your ex and your child. There are logistics to consider and possibly strained lines of communication. You might also fear the start of an unwanted fight or of running into your ex’s new significant other.
Here are some tips to help avoid as much drama as possible and make your child custody exchange easier on everyone:
1. Be on time!
Arriving on time will help keep the peace. If tensions are already running high, showing up late will only make the tension worse. Plus, you would not want to be kept waiting, so show your child’s other parent the same courtesy.
2. Bring a neutral third party
Having a neutral third party present could encourage both sides to remain as civil as possible. It also gives you a witness to the exchange in case anything goes wrong or comes up at a later date. However, do not bring your new boyfriend that you know makes your ex jealous!
3. Exchange in a public place
Go to the mall or local park. It could help you later that there are surveillance cameras and witnesses around. This could also encourage better behavior from both parties who want to avoid a public scene.
4. Exchange near your local police station
If you feel there may be a safety threat, you could choose to exchange at or near your local police station. Make sure this is really necessary for your child though, because police stations can be scary, especially for young ones.
5. Exchange at your child’s school or day care
If you know that you cannot be civil or face your child’s other parent, consider having the exchange take place at school or daycare. The parent who is beginning his or her custodial time will simply retrieve the child from their program and avoid the other parent all together.
There are many different ways to accomplish a successful child custody exchange. Do what works best for you, your family, and, most importantly, your child.
The Law Office of Diana C. Schimmel, Esquire
Two Logan Square
100 N. 18th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Lauren Napolitano, Psy.D.
More from parenting