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How to keep custody exchanges stress-free: 3 tips

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Child Custody

When parents divorce, it can be difficult to settle into a co-parenting routine – especially when there are still a lot of raw emotions still going around. 

In high-conflict divorces, child custody exchanges can be challenging for both the parents and the children, and lead to constant disputes that can have the co-parents back in court. If you want to avoid complications with your co-parent, here are some tips that can help you navigate custody exchanges without a battle:

1. Use a shared calendar or app 

You will probably have a regular schedule for custody exchanges – but life is unpredictable. If something comes up that necessitates a change in the schedule or a slight delay, you want to be able to communicate quickly and effectively with your co-parent. A shared calendar or parenting app can make it easier to keep everyone on the same page and minimize stressors.

2. Choose a neutral location

Custody exchanges can be very stressful if they take place at either parent’s home. A neutral location, in a public place, can not only make both parents feel more comfortable, but they can keep a co-parent who is inclined to be hostile on their best behavior. Some options include the child’s school or daycare, community centers and libraries or outside of the local police station.

3. Keep communication focused and brief

A custody exchange is not the time to bring up a dispute over child support or even discuss major issues concerning the children. Focus on need-to-know information that is important at the moment, such as the fact that your child has a cold or needs to study for an upcoming test once they get home. Leave all the detailed discussions for other times, when the children aren’t present.

If you find that custody exchanges with your co-parent are consistently stressful, you may need to seek additional support. Legal guidance can help you determine the best way to approach these difficult situations.