In some cases, it’s the little things that cause the biggest problems when it comes to co-parenting. One such problem involves coming to an agreement as to the location where the transfer of children will take place.
There are many places where parties can decide to transfer their children, but the default location seems to be at the parties’ residences. To avoid conflict within the parties’ home, the parties often meet at “curbside” where the parties meet in front of their houses, next to their cars.
Sometimes meeting at the parties’ homes is not an option due to the heightened acrimony between the parties or because the parties live so far apart from each other that meeting somewhere in the middle of where they live makes the most sense.
In cases where there is heightened acrimony between the parties, a common place to meet is at the local police department, either in the station’s lobby or in the parking lot. However, many parents feel that meeting at the police department may frighten their children, so they choose to meet somewhere else such as in the parking lot of the local grocery store.
When a party has concerns for his or her safety or believes the other party is likely to act out during the exchange, we suggest meeting at the local police department or at a place where there are security cameras and a lot of people present. Also, having a cell phone in hand to dial 911 and to record possible domestic violence is highly recommended in these types of situations.
When the parties live far from each other and need to meet at a location somewhere in the middle of their respective homes, disagreements can arise as to where the half-way point is located. An obvious way to resolve this issue is to use an online map, which will give parties the exact number of miles to any particular location. However, sometimes it makes sense to meet at a location that is not exactly in the middle of where the parties live, but at a location that takes into consideration traffic conditions.
Another factor to consider when parties live far apart from each other, is whether or not it is possible to meet in the middle given one or both of the parties’ work schedules. In these types of situations, the parties are advised to make concessions such as changing the time to pick-up and drop-off the children or having one of the parties drive all the way to the other parties’ location.
Of course, there are some situations where the parties live so far apart from each other that the pick-up and drop-off locations must be at a public transportation hub such as the airport or train station. When the children are traveling between homes by public transportation it is essential that the parties share all of the itinerary information necessary to avoid problems.
At the end of the day, when it comes to resolving this issue as to where to meet for the transfer of children, parties would be wise to remember that if they cannot agree on the location, the judge will make the call, and it may be at a place that neither party favors.