Child custody exchanges can be extremely stressful for both parents and children. There are safety concerns, procedural issues and a large amount of conflict. It can be emotionally and physically exhausting. Luckily, the tension can be minimized with these four custody exchange tips:
1. Avoid Being Late.
One of the first things you should is to avoid being late to the exchange. Actions will almost always speak louder than words, so make sure you arrive on time. Better yet, arrive early. Tardiness will only increase hostility. If you are run late on a regular basis, you may actually be committing a crime known as custodial interference. This crime occurs when you are disrupting the custody rights of the other custodial parent. In Tennessee, if it is determined by the court that you are indeed committing custodial interference, you may be faced with a class A misdemeanor or a class E felony.
2. Make Use of Surveillance Cams and/or Witnesses.
If you tend to have difficulty when meeting with your ex, you may want to consider meeting on neutral ground where there are plenty of witnesses and/or surveillance cameras. This will come in handy in the event that you need proof to support your story of how your ex behaved toward you or your child. With witnesses present, it may help to thwart violent outbursts of behavior.
3. Pick Your Child Up at Daycare or School.
If you and your ex would rather not even cross paths, you may want to arrange for pick-up at your child's daycare or school. This way you and your ex don't even have to see one another.
4. Arrange for the Pickup Near a Police Station.
If you have had previous problems regarding abuse with your ex or even issues with prior custody exchanges, you may want to consider handling the exchange close to a local police station. It will be nice to be near a safe place in the event that the situation escalates and the proper authorities need to be called.
It is always a good idea to try to keep the peace as good as you can in order for the best interests of your child. After all, that is the main goal of all child custody disputes and arrangements. However, if you need assistance in modifying a current child custody arrangement or need guidance on navigating a new one, don't hesitate to contact a professional child custody lawyer in your local area who is knowledgeable about state law.