Ask a divorced parent about child custody exchanges, and they may lament about the stress and complexity of this process. In challenging co-parent relationships, parenting time swaps can be even more chaotic, increasing anxiety for everyone.
Cooperation and compliance with custody and parenting time orders can minimize custody-related complications. Implementing some “rules” to follow when swapping your kids could also improve things.
Plan and make it routine
Constant last-minute schedule changes can interfere with the stability and routine kids of divorce need. A consistent custody schedule for when and where you exchange your children may reduce stress and conflict. Good advance planning can make short-notice changes less frequent and disruptive for all.
Keep it brief and civil
When you meet for an exchange, keep the interaction short and polite. If you find it challenging to deal with your spouse, try not to interact at all. Focus on your kids and their well-being during every custody swap. Saying goodbye with love and a smile can help them feel secure in both homes.
Bring a tag along
The presence of another adult can often forestall a conflict or disagreement, as the other parent may not want to make a scene. Plus, having someone with you can give you support and a potential witness if an incident does occur.
Check your parenting plan
Sometimes, parenting time exchanges are complex because of problems with current child custody arrangements. Perhaps your family has outgrown the original plan, or your kids have different interests and needs.
In North Carolina, you may ask the court to modify your original custody orders when they fail to serve your children’s best interests. Legal guidance can help you present a persuasive case, making your exchanges a peaceful experience for your children.