Child custody exchanges can be incredibly uncomfortable for parents and children alike. If you and the other parent cannot have a simple conversation without arguing then it might be best to put a plan in place for every exchange of custody to avoid fights. If you don’t do it for yourself, you should do it for the sake of your children.

Here are four important tips on making child custody exchanges comfortable for everyone.

Neutral locations

The first thing you need to do is pick a neutral location where everyone can feel safe. This can include your child’s school or daycare, the mall, the public library, the parking lot of the firehouse or police station or any other public location.

Third-party help

Your next step is to bring a neutral third party to the exchange if you and the other parent cannot interact. The third party can make the exchange for you and relay any messages you need to get to the other parent. The third party could be a relative, friend, neighbor or even the child’s teacher or school administrator.

Scheduled times

Create a schedule for every exchange and set a time. Make sure you stick to the schedule, especially the time of the exchange so as not to upset the other parent. If you know ahead of time you will be late, make sure you let the other parent know.

Focused interaction

Finally, make the exchange all about the child and nothing else. Talk about what they did in school this week, what they will be doing over the weekend and anything else that makes them happy.

Now that you know how to make the exchange of child custody comfortable you can begin to implement the methods mentioned in this post. If you’re having trouble negotiating the rules, a Vista attorney may be able to help.

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