5 Tips to Avoid Problems with Child Visitation Exchanges
Child visitation exchanges are often stressful for everyone — parents and children. The tension between parents can radiate to the child, causing them to feel anxious and upset. The following tips can help you make the changes necessary to avoid problems during your next exchange.
1. Choose Location of Exchange Wisely
Where you conduct the exchange is crucial for a smooth transition. The best location is one that is neutral to both parents. A public place is generally a fair and unemotional setting. Restaurants, parks, and other similar sites can make your exchange less stressful.
In situations involving extreme conflict and tension, an exchange outside a police station is worth considering. The ultimate goal is to choose a location that does not add to your ex’s existing hostility or discomfort. Keeping the exact location for each exchange can help build consistency and leave no doubts about where and when to meet.
2. Stay Focused on the Task at Hand
A child visitation exchange is just that — an exchange. It is not the time to discuss other parenting conflicts, especially in front of a child. Instead, exchange information pertinent to their visit and be on your way.
Child visitation exchanges work best when parents refrain from exchanging negative comments before their child. The exchange should flow smoothly by remaining focused on the task at hand, leaving no time for arguments.
3. Include a Neutral Party
Asking a mutual friend or a trusted family member to meet you at the exchange may ease the transition. Give careful thought to who is a good fit when it comes to someone you both know and respect.
Keep in mind that your current love interest is probably not the best choice. Avoid anyone who might make the situation worse, including toxic family members from either side.
Including a neutral party is an option; however, you must choose the right person. The goal of a neutral party is two-fold:
- To act as an observer
- To reduce friction
If the person you consider cannot commit to both tasks, it is best not to include them.
4. Plan and Prepare
Disorganization and chaos are inevitable when it comes to schedules and children. When a child visitation exchange occurs, the stress of the situation can cause you to forget important details of their visit.
A lack of planning on either parent’s part can make a tense situation worse. Plan by packing such essential items as:
- Clean clothes
- School items
- Favorite stuffed animal or blanket
You know your child best and what is essential for visiting their other parent. If your child is capable of helping you, work together to ensure they have what they need for their visit. In addition, by partnering on the packing, you might ease any separation anxiety you both have regarding the exchange.
5. Meet On Time
Parents have busy lives, and sometimes traffic, work schedules, and other delays can arise unexpectedly. Therefore, communication is vital when it comes to a child visitation exchange.
Purposely delaying your arrival just to annoy your ex is a poor plan. Remember, the focus is to create a stress-free exchange for your child. Therefore, attempt to meet at the agreed-upon time and, if late, inform your ex of your estimated time of arrival.
Additional Tips for Co-Parenting
Child visitation exchanges are just one part of the co-parenting puzzle. No one rule book applies to each family. Instead, divorced or separated parents must work together to co-parent the best way possible.
Difficulties are bound to arise; how you react to them is an essential factor for co-parenting. The following additional tips can help you with not only visitation exchanges but also in other areas relating to co-parenting:
- Remain kid-focused: A dedicated focus on your child is imperative. Beware of negative emotions and hostility that attempt to take the focus off your child and onto your ex.
- Find techniques that help you de-stress: Venting to a friend, exercising, or meditating can go a long way in easing your stress. In addition, releasing your tension before meeting with your ex can help prevent you from releasing it during the exchange.
- Rethink your relationship with your ex: A relationship with your ex still exists on a parenting level. As parents, you face years of joint decisions, celebrations, and more. Rethinking your relationship as a business associate is one way for each of you to remain focused on raising your child.
Your California Family Law Lawyer
Child visitation exchanges require cool tempers and careful planning. At the Pedrick Law Group, APC, we help parents no matter where they are in the child custody process.
If your ex disobeys court-ordered visitation or you seek to amend your original custody agreement, we can help. Our team serves clients in Orange Couty, Encino, and throughout the region.
California child custody laws are complex and difficult to understand on your own. We take great pride in helping parents fight for the best outcome possible with their child custody issues.
Hiring a lawyer can provide you peace of mind from visitation exchanges to other legal matters concerning divorce. Divorce and child custody matters are highly emotional and generally difficult for everyone involved.
Contact the Pedrick Law Group, APC For Help With Your Child Custody Case
If you are facing a divorce involving children, contact us today. The Pedrick Law Group, APC, offers free case evaluation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict the outcome of your case. However, we stand by your side throughout the process.
We understand that you may feel overwhelmed by your situation and at the thought of a new and different future. Let us help make your divorce more manageable by hiring us to protect your best interests.
The sooner you reach out to us, the faster we can get to work for you. So get the help you need with your California child custody and visitation case today by contacting the Pedrick Law Group, APC, as soon as possible.