One of the hardest parts of sharing parenting responsibilities and time with your children’s other parent is actually implementing the plan. Whether you and the other parent figured the situation out yourselves or had to hand that power over to a judge, you now face the reality of following the schedule. At some point, the children will need to go from one parent’s house to another. These exchanges can be harder than most parents think, particularly if there are other unresolved issues between them. That is why some parents should consider using a public place for transferring kids from one home to another. If you are a parent facing a difficult parenting situation, contact the Chicago parenting time attorneys of Fay, Farrow & Associations right away.
Benefits of Public Exchanges
Many parents just assume they will pick up their children from the other parent’s house or that parent will drop the children back off when it is time to switch. This arrangement may work fine for some, but other parents have a hard time going back and forth between each other’s homes. Choosing a public place for the children to move between parents can benefit everyone.
Public exchanges can:
- Keep the parent’s relationship cordial. Parents are more likely to watch their words if they are in a public place where they would not want to make a scene. If there is a contentious divorce going on or if the parents do not get along, a public place can help keep the exchange brief and civil.
- Maintain privacy for each parent. Sometimes one or both parents wishes to maintain some privacy, including not wanting the other parent in his or her home. A public place allows each parent to lead their separate lives without involving one another.
- Create an equitable amount of travel for each parent. Parents do not always live near one another, which makes it more important for them to be conscious of who is required to transport the kids back and forth. By choosing a public place between the two homes, the parents can more evenly divide the transportation burden.
- Establish consistency for the children. The kids need to know how exchanges are going to go. They should not have to guess or ask about who will pick them up or drop them off and when. One set time and place creates consistency, which can make the children feel more comfortable and secure in the arrangement.
There are two ways to use a public place for exchanges. A public establishment can allow for a contact or no-contact exchange for the parents. Many of these public places enable parents to hand their children over without speaking to one another.
- A restaurant. Pick one of your children’s favorite places to eat. This allows the parent dropping off, picking up or both to take the kids out for a treat. Children may be less hesitant to move between houses if the exchange is fun.
- School or daycare. Schools or daycare can be the easiest type of exchange and allow for parents to not see one another. One parent can drop off in the morning and the other can pick up in the afternoon. One factor parents should consider is whether the children need to bring clothes or other items back and forth, which would require them to carry more to school.
- A park. Using public parks for an exchange can be as fun as using a restaurant. Young children will enjoy their time playing even if they arrive with one parent and leave with another.
- Church, synagogue or temple. Like school, one parent can drop off children to attend a service and the other can be waiting for them or pick them up after. This is one place that can remain consistent year round and throughout kids’ lives.
Contact Us for Help
Fay, Farrow & Associates was established in 1979 and has protected parents’ rights to build relationships with their children ever since. We have experience in helping individuals establish parenting time and responsibility arrangements in and out of court, as well as enabling them to enforce and modify plans when necessary.