Even if divorce is the best solution for the future of all involved parties, there will likely be emotional stress and hurt feelings. When children are involved, all possible steps should be taken to remain civil, avoid public disputes and shield the child from any unnecessary unpleasantness.

Here are five tips to help guide you toward making your child custody exchange a smooth process.

  1. Choose a safe, public location: Many individuals can feel threatened by an ex-spouse based on their history of past disputes or the contentious nature of the divorce. It is wise to select a safe, neutral location. These locations can include your child’s daycare, school or near a local police station.
  2. Bring a neutral third party with you: This can, at the same time, diffuse a tense situation and provide a neutral witness to any public displays. This individual could be a neighbor, a co-worker or an official from the child’s school.
  3. Arrange for someone else to make the exchange: This might take some work to modify a child custody order and parenting plan, but if emotions are running too high to ensure a safe exchange, perhaps it is wise to send an approved proxy to the exchange.
  4. Show up on time: And communicate. If you are going to be late because of traffic or other unforeseen situations, it is crucial that you call or text your ex so he or she is aware of the problem. Failing that, prepare to leave early and reach the exchange on time or even slightly ahead of schedule.
  5. Take the high road: It is easy to see tempers beginning to flare. It is possible, also, that emotional disputes are what led to your marriage dissolving. Now that you are divorced, take this as an opportunity to take the high road and set a good example.

Child custody can be a challenging topic for the divorcing couple. Numerous disagreements centering on parenting time, a visitation schedule or decision-making responsibility can quickly overwhelm emotions. It is important to discuss potential trouble-spots with your lawyer as soon as they become apparent. Your attorney can provide guidance and resources to help pick a safe location for the exchange.