You may share custody of your children with your ex, but that doesn’t mean that you and your ex are on good terms. Maybe your ex is angry that you’ve moved on and have a new romantic interest. Maybe they simply don’t like the current custody and visitation schedule and blame you for the limitations. Maybe they’re just still angry over whatever brought the relationship to an end.
Those situations can make every custody exchange with your child’s other parent both incredibly tense and potentially volatile. You naturally want to keep exchanges as peaceful as possible, but you simply aren’t sure how. Here are some suggestions:
Choose the location of the exchange carefully
When you don’t feel comfortable enough around your ex to exchange custody directly at your door, a public location is a much better choice. However, the authorities caution against picking just any public spot, like a grocery store’s parking lot or at the nearest McDonald’s. People may still act out in those locations. It’s far safer to use a safe location, like the lobby of the local police station or sheriff’s office.
Ask for a peace officer to oversee the exchange
If this is the first time you’ve made an exchange after a big blowout with your ex or someone else involved, it may be wise to ask for the police to send an officer out to ensure everyone’s safety. Most of the time, just having a police officer on the scene is enough to put everyone on their best behavior.
Take steps to minimize additional triggers
Every situation is unique, but the odds are high that you can predict at least a few issues that can make an exchange more hostile. If your ex and your mother can’t stop fighting, for example, don’t bring your mother to the custody exchange.
When custody and visitation issues are tearing your life apart, find out what legal rights you have and what can be done to help.