Getting along with your ex can be so tough! According to the United States Census Bureau, there are many more divorces than there are other types of marriage dissolution. It is not shocking then, that divorces and separation of partners, can cause difficult relationships.
These difficult relationships are even harder when there are kids involved. This is true around the holidays and summer break. Our family law attorneys often get phone calls FROM throughout Lansing, Ingham County, Eaton County, and Clinton County. When your custody and parenting time orders detail the place, manner, and time when kids should go spend time with the other parent, that’s a great thing! It’s even better when both parents strictly comply with those court orders unless they both agree to a different plan, in writing.
However, what is on paper isn’t always simple to put into practice. Here are some tips and tricks for Michigan parents from Okemos to Eaton Rapids to make child visitation exchanges with a difficult ex smoother and safer for everyone!
Do you already have an agreement or order in place describing how you will exchange your kids on your parenting days? If so, that’s great! That makes things easier. Most parents do not have a “nesting arrangement” in place which is one where the child lives in one place and the parents go to the child. Rather, most parents live at their own homes and the kids are the ones who must travel between both homes.
This can be hard on kids and parents! Having an existing agreement in place can provide a safety net for all of the family members involved. Sometimes, this agreement is detailed in the Judgment of Divorce. Other times, a custody or parenting time agreement or order is made even if the parents were never married.
Does your child love to go to the trampoline park? Is her favorite place the mall? Is his preferred spot to eat somewhere between yours and your ex’s homes?
It is never a bad idea to exchange your child in a public and neutral location. Meeting at a public spot that your child enjoys can be less stressful for your child and can promote feelings of safety and security for all involved. For bonus points, choose a neutral location that has security cameras. Think about fast food restaurants that have a play area. They mostly have security cameras that record everything. Malls have cameras. Most big box stores and grocery stores have security cameras. Doing the exchange of the children while in view of the camera can make it easier to prove what happened during the exchange if there is an unfortunate incident.
If concerned specifically about safety, a police station or fire department can serve as a convenient, neutral location. However, be cautious about locations that will cause a child to worry about whether the exchange presents some sort of danger to the extent that it needs to be done near a first responder location in Michigan.
Be Reasonable and Civil!
Reasonableness and civility can promote smooth child visitation exchanges.
Even if the other parent is hard to deal with, your child is going to witness these interactions. The best thing you can do is be reasonable and civil with your ex. Your child will respect you for making the right decision. Remember that kids are pretty perceptive. They do notice things. Even things as subtle as an angry face or hostile glaring.
Modeling this behavior is great for your kids and it also will aid in a smooth, happy and safe child visitation exchange!
Parents from Haslett to Charlotte struggle with staying calm when the other parent is not cooperating with the plan for your kids. It is normal and you are not alone. If your ex is not abiding by terms of any existing agreements that you share, make sure to contact an experienced divorce or family law attorney to help find solutions. Feel confident in knowing that most family court judges here in Michigan are not tolerant of parents that do things that are harmful to children, and particularly their own children.
The Kronzek Firm can help you when your ex is making things difficult.
The Kronzek Firm attorneys are skilled in family and divorce matters. If you are searching for expert legal advice, our firm has represented hundreds of people in Michigan in assuring safety and security for their kids. To set up your free initial consultation today, call (517) 886-1000. We’re available 24/7, including nights and on weekends for crisis intervention. We have your back!