Newly divorced parents understand how stressful a custody exchange can be. After all, you must interact with your ex-spouse long enough to hand off the children when your scheduled parenting time starts and stops. 

Fortunately, you can implement certain strategies to help you reduce potential friction during custody swaps. Choosing the right place to exchange the kids is the first step. 

Pick a neutral site

Even if you have dealt with the negative emotions from your marriage and divorce, you may not want to see your ex-spouse in his or her new home. Until you have co-parented for a while, you probably should not exchange the kids at either your house or your ex’s. A neutral location is a better option. 

Opt for convenience

If you are like many divorced parents, it may feel like you have precious little time to spend with your children. By picking a convenient location for the hand off, you maximize your quality parenting time. That is, you do not have to spend as long traveling to and from the exchange place. 

Do not forget about safety

You do not want to endanger yourself, your children or your ex-spouse when trading the kids. Therefore, you should look for a custody hand-off site that is public, well-lit and otherwise safe. 

Remember, a location that seems to be a good fit when the weather is warm may become grossly inadequate during Pittsburg’s brutally cold winter months. 

Nevertheless, after you find a neutral, convenient and safe place to exchange the kids, you may want to make the location legally binding by including it in your parenting plan, custody agreement or both.