When North Carolina parents have ended their marriage, they will likely still share custody of their children. At some point, they must physically exchange custody. The actual exchange of the children can be dangerous, especially if one or both parents are not able to resolve their differences.
Usually, the parenting agreement outlines the exact place and time that the children are exchanged. Child exchanges are protected under a parent’s visitation rights, so both parents have the right to spend time with their children regardless of child custody or support issues. In some cases, this can cause a parent to potentially hold a grudge against the other. Disagreements about the child’s schooling, extracurricular activities, and even discipline can also cause disputes to arise. While most parents are able to remain civil long enough to actually exchange the children, there have been cases where the exchanges have turned deadly.
In one case, a 49-year-old Texas man was shot and killed by the other parent’s new romantic interest during a routine child exchange. Another 20-year-old Texas man was accidentally killed by a friend after he devised a plan to be shot. This was done in the hopes that he would obtain custody of his child.
When parents have joint custody, they will be required to interact with each other at least until the child turns 18. If the parents have trouble working together to provide a stable home life for their child, a family law attorney may assist with preventing disputes. This may include scheduling a child exchange in a neutral place and with other individuals present. If a modification needs to be made to the parenting plan due to a parent’s new job or financial situation, the attorney may facilitate an open dialogue that allows both parents to come to an agreement about a new plan.