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  • Sabreena Barboza

Top 5 Ways to Keep Child Custody Exchanges from Becoming Confrontational

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Child Custody Exchanges from Becoming Confrontational in Lancaster, South Carolina


Child custody exchanges can be some of the most combative dealings between parents. However, there are a few ways to avoid confrontation.


1. Make the Location for Custody Exchanges Public


Generally, people do not want to draw negative attention to themselves. Choosing a public setting can discourage parents from becoming argumentative.


Consider some of the following locations:

  • Schools

  • Daycare

  • After-school programs

  • Parks or playgrounds

  • Coffee shops

  • Grocery stores

People are less likely to be antagonistic in a public setting.


2. Use a Neutral Zone for Pick Up and Drop Off


In many cases, contention arises from one parent thinking the exchange point favors one over the other. To minimize confrontation, avoid using the following:

  • Your respective homes

  • Locations that are closer distance to one parent than the other

  • Your place of business

  • A relative’s home

Pick an exchange point that is a neutral, safe location that is an equal distance for each parent to travel.


3. Use a Buffer Location


If parents are especially hostile towards one another, using a buffer location may be the best option. For example, one parent can drop the child/children off at school while the other parent picks them up. The school serves as a safe exchange point while the parents do not have to see each other, and communication is kept to a minimum.


4. Try to Ease Separation Anxiety


Children are very sensitive to any animosity between their parents. In addition, young children are particularly prone to separation anxiety. Even amenable custody exchanges can become confrontational when there is an onslaught of tears and tantrums.


To keep children cooperative:

  • Avoid long goodbyes with excessive hugs and kisses

  • Keep the same routine for every exchange

  • Be specific about when they will see you again

Young children understand time differently. Rather than say, “I will see you in three days,” use, “I will see you in three nighttime sleeps.”


Keeping custody exchanges quick and simple will dramatically reduce the potential for separation anxiety and help reduce the tension between parents.


5. Have a Child Custody Lawyer in Lancaster, SC, Create a Detailed Child Custody Exchange Plan


According to a study, children who are frequently exposed to high-conflict divorce and volatile custody exchanges can suffer anxiety, sleeplessness, and trouble in school. A child custody attorney can discuss your family’s needs and draft a legal exchange plan that minimizes the potential for conflict and works long term.


Some matters to consider when drafting a child custody exchange plan include:

  • Will this schedule work for holidays and other special events?

  • Is the exchange location neutral for both parents?

  • Will the time and place work for both parents’ work schedules?

  • Are the children involved in any after-school activities that may affect the exchange schedule?

  • If the child is young, will the schedule work when they begin school?

Children can feel the stress and anxiety from their parents’ altercations. However, having an experienced divorce attorney by your side can help you create a custody exchange plan that will reduce stress and limit the amount of communication between parents.


Contact a Lancaster, SC Child Custody Attorney Today


Child custody exchanges can be highly contentious. Parents and children share the anxiety and stress. However, drafting a detailed child custody exchange plan can reduce the potential for confrontation.


Attorney Barboza has years of experience helping families with their unique family law matters. Call (803) 973-6003 to schedule a consultation today.

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