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Atlanta Divorce Attorney > Blog > Child Custody > Streamlining Child Custody Exchanges after Divorce in Georgia

Streamlining Child Custody Exchanges after Divorce in Georgia


After a divorce,  parents may have numerous custody exchanges within a given month. These exchanges can be stressful and difficult to plan effectively. They also can lead to potential conflicts – especially after combative or bitter divorces. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to streamline these custody exchanges.

Keep in mind – your child or children did not choose to divorce the other parent. It is imperative that the parents put their feelings aside to make the exchanges pleasant and peaceful. Ideally, the exchanges occur at each parent’s home so that if a child forgets something, the child can easily go back into the home to collect it. Exchanges at each parents’ home are only possible if the parents are responsible enough to control any negative feelings and prevent outbursts. These exchanges are most successful when rules are established beforehand – do the parents wait in the car? Do the parents sound the car horn to announce arrival? Do the parents come to the door and ring the doorbell? What should the parent do if the child invites the parent into the home?

Choose a Neutral Location 

If there is a potential for conflicts, you might want to choose a neutral pickup or drop-off location. Many custody exchanges occur at school – meaning the child goes to school from one parent’s house and, at the end of the school day, goes home to another parent’s house. That method allows the parents not to interact but causes the child to either have to bring all of his/her items to school or have enough at each parent’s home where things do not have to travel back and forth. This can be hard for a child to remember to bring everything needed. Other options for neutral locations are shopping malls, convenience stores, playgrounds, libraries and coffee shops. Parents that are very contentious often meet at the police or fire station.

Communicate Effectively Ahead of Time 

If there are any known or expected changes to the schedule, communicate them as early as possible. For example, if a business trip or medical appointment has been scheduled, alert the other parent as soon as possible – not the night before. There should be clear and polite lines of communication between parents. A quick email or text message takes only a few minutes, and it can dramatically reduce potential conflicts.  Offer solutions if childcare is an issue – like have backup childcare available or someone who can transport the child/children. If something arises unexpectedly or last minute, like a car accident that affects traffic or an illness that prevents you from exercising your parenting time, alert the other parent as soon as possible. Contact the other parent in multiple methods to ensure the other parent knows of the change in plans. Be flexible and accommodating if you are the one who is having to change the plans – offer to meet in a different location, offer to help find or pay for childcare, offer to switch parenting time, etc.

 Prioritize Timeliness 

Parents can also minimize conflicts by simply being on time. Although itis not always easy to arrive exactly on time, parents should plan to arrive at the meeting location at least ten (10) minutes early to ensure they are not late. If one parent is kept waiting, this almost always increases the chances of a conflict.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Child Custody Lawyer in Georgia 

Although there are many things you can do to make custody exchanges easier, you might also choose to modify the underlying custody arrangement. To discuss your legal options, consider contacting a qualified Atlanta child custody lawyer. Contact Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French today to get started with an effective action plan.




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