Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer Provides Tips for a Seamless and Safe Child Custody Exchange

When a couple goes through a divorce, there are often pent-up feelings of resentment, bitterness, anger, sadness, and disappointment. These negative emotions have an effect on your children. What you say and how you act around your children influences how they feel, as well as how they perceive the world. If you constantly disparage your former spouse in front of your child, your child may begin to mirror your feelings despite your former spouse being an excellent parent. And remember – just because someone was a lousy spouse does not mean they cannot be a good mother or father.

If you do share joint custody, you will undoubtedly have to encounter your former spouse often in order to conduct child custody exchanges. For couples that went through painless uncontested divorce proceedings, child custody exchanges may seem like a walk in the park. However, for couples who went through tumultuous and lengthy contested divorce proceedings (especially ones that are still ongoing), child custody exchanges become stressful and uncomfortable encounters. Not only may tempers flare at the exchange, but how you act towards your former spouse may emotionally traumatize your child.

Over the past ten years, I have witnessed a lot of heartache and anxiety among parents, but I have also learned that all of my clients ultimately want what’s best for their children. This includes parents who want to set an example for their children when interacting with a former spouse in their presence, despite any litigation issues or past history. Below are five tips on ensuring that your child custody exchange goes as smoothly as possible.

  1. Attend in person. Many parents don’t wish to see their formers spouses and will hide inside the home while sending their children out alone to climb into the former spouse’s car. This sends the wrong message to your child – that you cannot trust the other parent and are afraid of them. In addition, there will be many times when you or your former spouse need to communicate about your child, such as on the status of homework.
  2. If you worry about your safety, conduct the exchange in front of a police precinct. Unfortunately, many divorced couples have extremely tumultuous relationships that often turn violent. If your former spouse was verbally or physically abusive, harasses you or has a tendency to yell when around you, conducting the exchange in a safe and well-monitored area will keep everyone behaving well. In addition, any misconduct will be recorded on video camera. Many police stations in Mississippi welcome child custody exchanges in their parking lots and lobbies.
  3. Be punctual. When you enter into a child custody agreement, you are signing a legally binding document. If it says you need to meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m., be there on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Showing up extremely late or not at all will not only cause disagreement with your ex but might also result in a contempt order from the judge.
  4. Treat your former spouse respectfully. When your child is present, always talk cordially with your ex. Do not allow your emotions to overcome you and set a bad example for your child.
  5. Be flexible. While your custody agreement can be enforced by a judge, that doesn’t mean you and your ex shouldn’t be flexible with each other sometimes. If your former spouse has an emergency or a special request for an extra night, you are not required to consent, but you should at least consider it. This will improve the relationship with your ex and smooth the custody exchange process.

Don’t forget – just because you are divorced doesn’t mean you are no longer a parent. To discuss child custody issues with a Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer, call Matthew S. Poole now at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

 

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Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer Provides Tips for a Seamless and Safe Child Custody Exchange
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Mississippi Child Custody Lawyer discusses steps to take to ensure a safe and pain free child custody exchange.

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