How To Keep Child Custody Exchanges Civil
Sometimes even the most amicable of divorces in Kentucky can end with lingering feelings of resentment by the time the divorce process is completed. Child custody exchanges can be particularly difficult in this situation because the co-parents are likely to come face-to-face with each other.
If you feel threatened or you have been subjected to abuse by your ex-spouse during a child custody exchange, you should immediately speak to a trusted family law attorney for advice. There are various legal remedies that can be looked at for situations like this.
If you just find child custody handoffs to be awkward or uncomfortable, here are some tips to help make these exchanges go more smoothly:
Do it For Your Kids
Try not to argue with your ex-spouse in front of the children. This results in a mixed bag of feelings, grief, change, and an unknown future. The time to sort out any strife with your ex should not be during pick-ups and drop-offs.
Not having both parents is already stressful enough for the kids. New significant others may have already come on the scene, and it won’t be easy for your child to spend the night in a different home.
Stress in children expands exponentially when they watch their parents argue with each other. The best thing for you to do is adapt to the switches and hold back any anger or emotion that comes to the surface – for your kid’s sake. Let your child have a peaceful and quiet transfer.
Arrive On-Time or Early
Children are smart and observant. Parents that are chronically late during exchanges send a loud signal to the children – the other parent’s time is not that important. This approach can quickly erode the relationship. Tardy parents can cause the on-time parent to run late, which may impair their quality time with the kids.
The other parent may eventually become resentful, making them more rigid and less willing to work with you in the future. You won’t have the smooth sailing co-parenting you want following the divorce if your tardiness starts messing with their schedule or job. In addition, the other parent may file a contempt petition or custody modification if this becomes a recurring issue.
Have the Children Ready
Successful co-parenting ex-spouses have a secret mantra – to keep the children ready for the other parent. Several begrudging parents do this unwittingly because of the numerous benefits.
For starters, your children feel more secure and loved when you send them off in clean clothes, after a snack, with a snack packed, and any medications in tow. For adolescents, ensuring their homework is done on time and that they are packed and ready to go will be very helpful.
The receiving parent will appreciate it as well when the kids have their homework done and other chores are taken care of. The other parent won’t have to spend their quality time with the kids completing unnecessary tasks.
Use a Neutral Meeting Place
You can make the other parent behave by having the custody exchange take place at a neutral place, such as a McDonald’s. In case things are really bad, you may want to set up “no contact” exchanges. For instance, one parent can drop off the kids at school with the other parent picking them up.
You can also choose to swap the children at a supervised visitation center or the police station if things are too contentious. This will give the other parent that additional motivation to play nice.
People are more likely to behave when there is someone else whom they know around them. You may want to consider bringing a mutual friend to ease the tension.
If things are especially contentious, this may not be a long-term solution. You may want to consider speaking with a seasoned child custody attorney if you are worried about the manner in which the exchanges are taking place.
Death and taxes are the only two certainties of life as the old adage goes. It is common for new significant others, half-siblings, and stepchildren to come into the dynamics at some point. You will need to be flexible for all sorts of permutations regarding scheduling custody exchanges and everything else. Flexibility will help you stay out of court.
Talk to a Knowledgeable and Compassionate Family Law Attorney in Kentucky Today
The experienced child custody attorneys at the law firm of John H. Ruby & Associates assist clients with complex child custody and visitation matters. Our family law attorneys will provide you with the personal attention and high-quality legal representation needed to solve your troubles as swiftly and effectively as possible.
To set up your free, no-obligation consultation, call (502) 895-2626 or reach us online.