If you have a shared custody arrangement, you and your ex-spouse must transfer custody of the kids when scheduled parenting time begins and ends. While it may be tempting to swap the children at your home or your ex-spouse’s, doing so may cause conflict. This may be especially true if either you or your former spouse now has a live-in partner.
While your parenting plan or custody agreement may dictate where the custody transfer occurs, you and your ex-spouse may have to settle on an ideal location initially. Good hand-off sites typically have three qualities.
You do not want your custody transfer to turn into a turf war. Therefore, consider finding a neutral place where both you and your ex-spouse have a right to be. A public park, shopping center or restaurant may work well.
If reaching the transfer location is overly inconvenient for you or your ex-spouse, you may have trouble minimizing conflict. Picking a place that is approximately equidistant between your two homes ensures each of you shares the burden. Alternatively, you may settle on a site each of you visits frequently, like your children’s school.
Finally, safety must be your top priority when picking a transfer location. Safe locations usually have bright lights and shelter for inclement weather. On the other hand, if you feel your ex-spouse may do something dangerous or inappropriate, you may want to swap the kids at a police station.
Even though adjusting to a co-parenting arrangement may be challenging, you can boost your odds of having a successful custody transfer by picking the best possible swap site. Fortunately, if your transfer location ultimately proves to be inconvenient, unsafe or otherwise unworkable, you and your ex-spouse can always negotiate a different one.