The tricky business of parenting handovers
The Tricky Business Of Parenting Handoversby Rick Ortiz
In his recent dadsdivorce.com article What Not To Do At Parenting Time Exchanges, attorney Eric Carter explains that although there are ample opportunities to misstep when handing over the children, a bit of preparation can go a long way in keeping things civil.
Carter recognizes that these child exchanges sometimes seem to be “the perfect opportunity to confront the other parent.” However, he warns, the exchange of a child is absolutely the wrong time to bring up scores not settled, bones that need picking, issues to be addressed or really any other business than the business at hand: the handing off of a child from the custody of one parent to the other. And while it may be true that one or the other spouse hasn’t been returning phone calls in a reasonable matter of time, the purpose of this transfer is not to get resolution on the myriad other unresolved issues that seem alluring.
The first and foremost reason for sticking to the business at hand at these exchanges is precisely because both parents are in the presence of their child or children. Carter cautions that not only will issues not be resolved in a satisfactory manner, the young witnesses to the impending argument will be worse off after having endured it.
Carter goes on to list the many other purposes that divorced parents often try to force at these exchanges, all of which are doomed to failure. Essentially, he argues, that while it sometimes dawns on the vindictive ex-spouse to rub a little salt in the other’s wound by using these opportunities to show off the new girl- or boyfriend, ultimately the goal should be to get in and out, hand off the kids safely, exchange only the most necessary and topical information regarding the immediate needs of the child, and return to as much normalcy as possible.
Carter realizes that both ex-spouses often have a tendency to turn these exchanges into an opportunity for verbal sparring and worse. He cautions that this is the time to be on your best behavior because of the high-stakes, high-pressure nature of coming face to face with the very person you have just divorced.
Rick Ortiz is the editor of www.dadsdivorce.com an online source of information for men and fathers at any stage of divorce.
To view Eric Carter’s entire article go to: http://www.dadsdivorce.com/component/content/article/39/1534