Divorce is a significant adjustment for all family members, including your kids. If you and your spouse plan to co-parent, you will have custody exchange days.
Many parents dread exchanges, particularly if they tend to fight with their former partner. While custody exchanges are challenging, you can learn to navigate them effectively.
Create a safe plan for everyone
The most important aspect of a custody exchange is safety. If you choose a public space to exchange the kids, you should do so where you feel safe. For some people, busy places like shopping plazas or restaurants feel the most comfortable. If you do not feel ready to go to your ex’s home, plan to meet somewhere neutral.
Your plan should include the time you meet and when you plan to pick the kids up again. Keep your meetings to daylight hours, if possible, and do not try to rearrange the schedule.
Prepare before custody exchange day
Try to have your kids ready prior to custody exchange day. While kids may have belongings at both parents’ houses, they will still need to take some items back and forth. For example, favorite blankets, toys or clothes may travel with the children. Have your kids take the same bag every time they leave so you can quickly check it before you leave the house.
Do not use the custody exchange day to have discussions with your ex about the kids. You should keep most of your conversations about custody and other parenting matters private.