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Avoid confrontation during child custody exchange

You knew when you filed for divorce in a Washington court that you would still have interactions with your ex because you have children together. Like most parents, you no doubt wanted to settle your divorce as swiftly and amicably as possible to minimize disruption and stress in your children’s lives. Part of your settlement must include a child custody agreement.  

If conflict occurs frequently between you and your ex, extra precautions may be necessary to help avoid confrontation and disputes during child custody exchanges. Remember that your children’s best interests are the central focus of your custody agreement. Setting boundaries can help make interactions with a high-conflict parent more manageable.  

Keep child custody and personal issues separate 

You and your ex must interact regarding your children. However, you are no longer under obligation to share details about your personal lives, unless it affects the children. Setting a boundary for privacy can help avoid disputes during child custody interactions with your ex. Especially if your ex is jealous of your friendships, the less personal information you share about your private life, the better.  

Resist the temptation to respond to social media posts 

If your ex wants to bait you into a confrontation, he or she might post disparaging remarks or lies about you on social media. If these posts impede your relationship with your children, you may bring the matter to the court’s attention. In the meantime, it is best to avoid reacting by posting comments on your ex’s social media pages. Doing so merely stirs the pot and might even make matters worse. 

If you don’t trust your ex for peaceful child custody exchanges 

Even if you and your ex get along well, it’s always best to exchange custody in a neutral and public location. If you’re worried that your ex will try to cause trouble, you can either take someone with you or ask someone to transport your children on your behalf.  

Use parallel parenting to avoid conflict 

If your relationship with your ex is contentious, you might want to limit interaction. You can use parallel parenting to avoid having to meet in person. This is a child custody style that limits interaction to text messaging or email. You don’t have to talk on the phone or meet in person. It’s a good idea, however, to keep a record of all your correspondence, especially if child custody problems arise. 

Child custody issues can be challenging to resolve when you’re dealing with a high-conflict co-parent. Remaining calm and enlisting outside support as needed are the keys to avoiding confrontation while protecting your parental rights and your children’s best interests.