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Managing child custody exchanges when parents don’t get along

Child custody exchanges are not always the happiest moments. It’s hard for one parent to say goodbye to his or her child during a child custody exchange — even if the visitation period is only for a couple of days. However, if the parents don’t get along and constantly bicker and fight when they see one another, child custody exchanges become even more difficult.

Here are a few things that parents need to keep in mind during to avoid legal problems:

Follow the terms of the child custody orders: Whether it’s a court-approved settlement or a child custody decree issued by a judge, the parents must adhere to the terms of their child custody arrangements or face being in contempt of court. This could result in the loss of the offending parent’s custody rights. Make sure to read your child custody agreement carefully and follow each of its terms to the letter.

Manage any potential disagreements: Even small disagreements or tiny issues can build into resentment and hostility. Make sure to manage your feelings and your actions to avoid a toxic child custody exchange environment.

Avoid legal consequences: Courts will always seek to protect the best interests of the child or children involved in any child custody exchange environment. If the child custody exchanges become emotionally, verbally or physically abusive, a court could intervene and one of the parents might lose the right to spend time with and/or care for his or her children.

If you’re facing a violent or abusive parent every time you have to carry out a child custody exchange, options may be available to help resolve the situation. You might, for example, be able to organize a neutral, court-supervised child custody exchange location. Alternatively, you might be able to gain court approval to coordinate with a relative or family friend who can assist in delivering your children from the home of one parent to the other. Finally, there may be the possibility of court intervention if the other parent’s actions consistently and destructively violate your child custody orders.