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Is a neutral custody exchange right for you?

Even if the marriage ends on amicable terms, divorcing parents could find significant stress disrupting their futures. Lasting disagreements over property division or the evolving situation of one former spouse finding a new significant other can lead to heated disputes. In these situations, the exes should consider making a custody exchange at a neutral location.

The reasons for this are myriad:

  • The neutral site could be equidistant from both households
  • The neutral site could be a public location which minimizes the possibility of arguments
  • The neutral site could be a necessary function such as the child’s school so there is no added pressure on the schedule

If the divorced parents are hostile toward each other, the necessity of a neutral child custody exchange location could be written directly into the parenting time agreement. Provisions in the agreement could include a list of acceptable locations, a list of acceptable proxies or a list of acceptable people who could accompany either spouse in an attempt to diffuse a heated situation.

Common examples of a neutral child custody exchange location can include:

  • A mall food court
  • A common fast-food restaurant
  • A public park
  • A police precinct

During the divorce process, it might be wise to discuss this potential eventuality with your lawyer. It’s possible that your city or county has identified certain government locations specifically for this purpose.

Additionally, many divorcing couples determine alternate exchange locations to use during times of poor weather, personal issues or times of stress. It is wise to agree to certain locations as well as preferred communication methods to ensure all family members have the time to react to the alteration.


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