Divorced parents in Florida may need to deal with child custody exchanges if they share custody or if one parent is custodial and the other has visitation rights. Agreeing on visitation, child custody and custody exchanges can be complicated because they are among the most emotionally fraught issues that can arise.

The “custody exchange” simply refers to the moment when one parent hands the child over to the other. Although these usually pass without incident, this can also be a time when conflicts over issues such as education and child support might become more heated. This could lead to arguments in front of the children, and in some cases, it may even result in violence. Some of these disputes may lead to law enforcement being called.

For example, one man was shot and killed by his ex-wife’s boyfriend during a custody exchange. In another case, a father put a knife in his daughter’s backpack and hoped this would be blamed on the mother. He was charged with reckless endangerment and child support. Even for cases that do not escalate in this way, parents may want to document any conflict so they have a record they can take to court if necessary. They should also keep in mind that at all times, they should try to act in the best interests of the child.

Parents may be able to reduce the likelihood of conflict during custody exchanges by including specific language in the parenting agreement about how the exchange will take place. They may agree that they will only communicate about their child at other times, by email or by some other means. Parents may want to look into mediation if they have conflicts they cannot resolve after the divorce. They might even each agree to only have contact through their attorneys at Venice, Florida child custody law firms.