Peaceful Child Exchange

peaceful child exchange
Peaceful Child Exchange

Peaceful Child Exchange


With all that’s going on in the world today, our children are subjected to a lot of bad stuff we never saw as kids.  As parents, we have a duty to protect our children, and to value their security as top priority.  This article will provide tips for peaceful custody exchanges.

Please Stop Exchanging Your Kids at the Police Station

When I was a baby family lawyer, I thought exchanging kids at a police station was the norm.  Where else do you feel most secure?

I was wrong.  I distinctly remember the words of a wise Judge who was ANTI-police station exchanges.  She NEVER granted a request to exchange children at a police station.

Please note the police station doesn’t deter violence.  This father fatally shot the mother at a police station during a police exchange.

Alleged criminals belong at a police station.  People there are usually in distress or under arrest.

Children are usually afraid of a police station.  They see and hear things at a police station that they shouldn’t see or hear.  Also, children feel singled out that their parents must exchange them at a police station, unlike their friends.  This will give them doubt about their parents’ ability to take care of them.

If You Need to Exchange at Public Place, Try McDonalds or the Library

Some parents opt for a public place because their homes are too far from each other.  A good solution would be to select a midway public place, like a restaurant.  Public places also psychologically encourage people to be on their best behavior.

Many fast food stores have cameras.  They also provide a time-stamped receipt for purchases, in case you need documentation that your ex was late at the exchange, etc.

The library is a wonderful place for children.  It is quiet and peaceful and filled with books.  It is an excellent place to take your child to read while waiting for your ex.  When your ex comes, they can stay there until a book is finished, or check out books.  Reading is good for a child.

If At All Possible, The Parent Ending Custodial Time should Drop Off to School and/or Other Parent

Children thrive in the belief that they are secure, and their parents are on the same page about loving them.  This usually means that parents must get along for the sake of their children.  It also means the parents never use the child as  pawn, or make the child feel like they are in a tug of war, being ripped apart.

I wasn’t born yesterday: I know this isn’t always possible.

If school is in session, the drop offs and pick ups can easily be done at school, without any risk of running into the other parent.  However, when school isn’t in session, it is customary to drop off at the other parent’s house.

I believe drop-offs are less stressful than pick-ups.  When your time is over, you can drive your child to the other parent’s house, and watch them go in.   Unlike a pick up, you don’t need to ring a doorbell, wait for the child to get ready and feel awkward.

Drop-offs also psychologically convey a sense that you are sharing – you are delivering the child to the other parent.  There is a trust psychology involved.

Be On Time

When it’s your time with your child, remember to be on time!  If you are the receiving parent, make sure you are at home when the other parent drops off.

If you are completing your time, be courteous and don’t be late in delivering your child.  Make sure your child’s bag is packed with medications, homework, necessary things for their time with the other parent.

If you are late because of traffic, make sure you communicate this at the first chance.  Be flexible and understanding.

Your child has to understand that they are your priority.  Don’t bring them to school, events, or exchanges.

Don’t Create a Stressful Atmosphere for Your Child

Children as young as 2 can immediately sense stress.  This will cause transition anxiety, which is stressful for everyone involved.

Never badmouth the other parent.  Instead of making the child feel guilty that they are leaving; set the stage for a fun time with the other parent.  Make it exciting and encourage loving behavior.

Be adults.





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