When there are children in a marriage, divorce can often be difficult to realistically finalize. Even though the matter may be settled in the eyes of the court after a divorce decree is handed down, the ongoing need for spouses to interact in order to swap the children in custody exchanges can lead to conflict. This is understandable, but still problematic, and must be handled with great care.
If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of your children because of threatening behavior on the part of the other parent, you must proceed with great caution. It is wise to call the police and see if they can offer any help. However, when it comes to child custody exchanges, there is usually a limit on what they can do in the moment — often restricted to documenting any bad behavior on the part of a parent. The notes of the police will then be reviewed by the court later on, which may change your custody agreement.
Still, it is important that you take necessary measures to keep yourself and your children safe when it comes to child custody exchanges. In part, this can be accomplished by making arrangements to exchange children in safe environments where conflicts are unlikely to become physically violent. In general, if you are concerned for the safety of yourself or your children, it is good to have help when exchanging the children. This might mean either law enforcement or from members of your community who can come to help you make the exchange and provide some degree of safety in numbers.
When tempers are prone to flare between parents, exchanges can be quite difficult, but they are also legally necessary to avoid landing in hot water with the law. If you need help devising ways to keep yourself and your children safe in a custody exchange, do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney who can help protect both your rights and physical safety.
Source: FindLaw, "Child Custody Exchange," accessed Feb. 03, 2017