Custody Exchanges and Conflict
Custody exchanges can be challenging for parents who share custody. When a child exchanges hands, the situation can easily become hostile, especially if the parents fought over custody or there were issues of domestic violence. If you fear for your safety when around the other parent, here are some tips for safe custody exchanges.
Safe Custody Exchanges in Public
An easy first step if you are experiencing custody exchange conflict is to hold your pickups and drops offs in a public space. Exchanging your child at your homes can leave you vulnerable. And your child could become anxious or stressed whenever an exchange is imminent. Public exchanges in places such as restaurants or playgrounds can facilitate safe custody exchanges while making it more pleasant for your child. The hostile parent will be more likely to keep conflict at bay in the public eye. You can also take advantage of public surveillance or security guards should things escalate.
Choose Protected Spaces
You can also consider holding your exchanges in a police station. Police stations are open to the public. They also provide the extra security of professionals on staff who’re trained to diffuse conflict and protect citizens. Keep in mind that your child might feel uncomfortable being exchanged at police stations. Accordingly, this might not be the best long-term solution for all families.
If all else fails, consider contact-free exchanges. For example, you could drop your child off at school and have the other parent pick him or her up. Or, you can locate a custody exchange facility near you. These facilities can help ensure safe custody exchanges, as you do not have to see or speak to the other parent. But it can sometimes be hard to schedule contact-free exchanges with your busy schedule. In addition, you might need to hand off instructions or communicate with the other parent about your child from time to time.
Seek Relief From the Court
If the other parent is unable to comply with one of the above recommendations, consider asking the court for help. You can file a motion to modify your custody and parenting time order. Both of these should be in your child’s best interests. Custody exchange conflict can make it harder for children to cope with having two homes. If custody exchange conflict is ongoing, speak with an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney about your options. Limiting parenting time or decreasing the frequency of exchanges can help reduce the conflict in your and your child’s life. An attorney can help you determine the best way to achieve safe custody exchanges given your specific situation.
If you need child custody guidance in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC is here to help. The experienced child custody attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC can aggressively protect your rights and your child’s best interests. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.