California parents know that one of the most challenging aspects of the custody process is working out a custody schedule. This can make it easy to overlook another important piece of a custody plan, which is how custody exchanges will occur.
Parents always have the option of working out custody exchange arrangements between themselves. However, busy schedules and different households can make this more complicated than it may appear.
Your home or a public location?
Two of the most common types of custody exchanges options involve exchanges taking place at each parent’s home or a neutral location, such as a school.
A parent’s custody time often starts after school, which makes school a natural location for a child to be picked up and dropped off. When exchanges occur at the parents’ homes, the parent granted custody usually retrieves the child from the other parent’s home.
Advantages to a public location
However, there are many reasons why this may not be the best option for your situation. You may not feel safe going to the other parent’s home or may feel more comfortable doing an exchange in a public location.
In addition to school, custody exchanges can happen at almost any public location, such as a gas station, restaurant or park. If safety is an issue, you can request that custody exchanges occur at your local police station.
Can we use a third party?
Sometimes, one parent has all the responsibility of picking up and dropping off the children. This could be your only option if you or the other parent does not have a driver’s license or means of transportation.
A third-party, such as a trusted family member or friend, can be used for custody exchanges. It is easiest if you and the other parent agree on the third-party, but if you do not, a custody court can order a third-party to perform exchanges, upon evidence showing that they are a trusted and reliable option.
Transportation costs are a concern for almost everyone in today’s world. Unless you provide evidence showing you legitimately cannot afford the transportation costs for exchanging your children, you and the other parent will generally be responsible for your own transportation costs.
As with everything custody-related, the best interest of your children should always be kept in mind when creating your exchange plan. Experienced custody attorneys can help you figure out the best choice for you.