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Neutrality in custody: Child exchanges in neutral territories

You may not have considered it, but once you have a parenting plan and decide to drop off your child to the other parent, where will you do so? Is it really a good idea to invite your ex-wife or husband to your home? Would you feel comfortable arriving at his or her home?

There's no question that divorces sometimes leave a negative feeling behind for the parents involved in the split. That can mean that meeting on someone's home ground isn't the best plan. Instead, it is a better idea to keep things neutral, at least until enough time has passed that you both feel comfortable allowing each other closer to your personal lives.

Sometimes, the court steps in

There are cases when the court will assign a drop-off location for visitation days or the transfer of a child from one to another's care. Normally, this location is around halfway between your homes, making it a fair distance for both parents.

If the court doesn't step in to designate a location, then you and your ex-spouse may decide on one together. You may choose a public location or decide on a safe place where one parent will drop off the child and the other will pick him or her up.

When should you use a neutral drop-off point?

When seeing your ex-spouse is contentious or causes irritation, a neutral drop off is the best option. The contact may be enough to send you into a fury, but not having to see the other person's life without you is a good way to avoid bad feelings during the drop off.

You may also feel threatened or in danger going to your ex's home or drop-off location, so it's well within your rights to establish a neutral area that puts you in public and in a safer position.

How can you decide on a neutral drop-off point?

One good way is to talk to your attorney about the locations other parents use. For example, a public library could be a great place, especially if your child is old enough to be dropped off and to wait alone. The state Division of Children and Family Services likely also has a list of neutral locations from which you may be able to choose a neutral spot.

These are just a few things to consider about visitation and drop off. Plan ahead, and you can keep yourself in a safer, less-tense situation.

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Lucas & Davis, P.A
209 West 2nd Street
PO Box 910
Kenly, NC 27542-5001
Phone: 919-284-5106
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