How to Keep Child Custody Exchanges Civil
Even when a divorce is amicable, feelings of resentment and bitterness can still linger among ex-spouses. This can create major obstacles for divorced couples, especially those with children. Although your marriage is over, it’s imperative for ex’s to learn how to get along if they share custody of their children. While custody exchanges force ex-spouses to interact and cooperate with each other, they can quickly become uncivil when parents don’t get along. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your child custody exchanges civil.
Properly Prepare for the Custody Exchange
It’s important to make sure your children have everything they will need packed-up and ready to go before your ex shows up to get them. Creating a list of important items your kids need when they are at the other parent’s home can help keep you organized before the custody exchange. Make sure you include things like medications, toys, clothes, school work, and study materials on the list.
You should also double-check that your children have everything packed up before your ex arrives. Doing this minimizes the amount of contact you must have with your ex and takes some time off the swap, which can ease tension.
Exchange Custody in Public Settings
Swapping children in public spaces generally forces both parents to remain civil through the exchange because they don’t want to make a scene. There are a variety of settings where custody exchanges can occur, such as:
- At School: One parent can drop the kids off at school in the morning, and the other can pick them up in the afternoon. Depending on the age of your children, supervision might be required if you are exchanging custody at school.
- At Daycare or the Babysitter’s: Similar to using a school, dropping the kids off at daycare and having your ex pick them up can spare you from unpleasant encounters.
- A Neutral Public Place: Use a location both parties will be reluctant to argue. A restaurant, mall, coffee shop, and police station are all fine locations for exchanging custody.
Bring a Third Party to the Custody Exchange
Just as parents are less likely to get out of hand in public, they are also generally on their best behavior if someone else is present during the custody exchange. You should choose a mutual acquaintance that both parents trust to fill this role. Additionally, if things become volatile, you’ll have a witness who can provide an accurate account of the events that occurred.