When two Minnesota parents file for divorce, they understand that their decision will cause disruption and changes in their children’s lives. However, if both parents are willing to cooperate, it is often possible to devise a solid child custody exchange plan to help the whole family avoid stress and legal complications after divorce. Most family court judges agree that children fare best in a divorce when their parents share custody of them, unless there are extenuating issues that would prompt the court to determine otherwise.
A concerned parent should exercise caution when choosing a drop-off location
When parents share custody of their kids in a divorce, they must forge an agreement as to when, where and how often custody exchanges will take place. In cases where parents do not get along well, it is typically best to choose a neutral location for dropping off and picking up the kids. Many parents use the parking lot of their child’s school, a local restaurant or a public park, etc., so that they do not have to go to each other’s personal residence.
Incorporate terms regarding who may transport children for custody exchanges
Problems can arise of parents fail to use explicit terminology in their child custody agreement. For instance, a parent may grow concerned if he or she is waiting with a child to exchange custody, and someone other than the co-parent shows up to pick up the child in question. To avoid such issues, a parent may include instructions in a custody agreement, stipulating who may transport a child for drop-offs and pickups in a custody exchange.
If a co-parent disregards a parenting time order
When a Minnesota family court judge issues custody order, both parents must adhere to its terms. In fact, even if both parents agree to change the terms, they should first file a petition for modification. Only after the petition is granted and the custody order is modified can parents formally alter the parenting time arrangements. If a parent is struggling to resolve legal issues, such as a co-parent who refuses to meet at an agreed-upon location for custody exchanges or fails to show up at all, etc., he or she may seek support from an experienced family law attorney to resolve the issue in court.