Who Picks Up & Drops Off a Child in a Divorce?

By Beverly Bird

Courts really don't want to take control of every minute aspect of your life, even when you divorce and have kids. Judges prefer that you come up with your own parenting plan, which might include what parent will drop off the children and who will pick them up for visitation. Sometimes, however, parents just can't agree, so the court will get involved, making a ruling based on your family's unique circumstances and the best interests of the children.

Courts really don't want to take control of every minute aspect of your life, even when you divorce and have kids. Judges prefer that you come up with your own parenting plan, which might include what parent will drop off the children and who will pick them up for visitation. Sometimes, however, parents just can't agree, so the court will get involved, making a ruling based on your family's unique circumstances and the best interests of the children.

Common Sense Measures

If you and your spouse plan to live some distance apart, consider setting up a halfway point where you can meet and exchange the kids. This will cut down on either parent taking the brunt of gas and other transportation expenses as well. Otherwise, it may make sense for the parent who is relinquishing the child at the end of parenting time to drop him off at the other parent's home. This avoids putting the child in a position where he feels like one parent is taking him away from the other, and it also ensures that the relinquishing parent – and the child – are ready for the transition.

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Issues of Domestic Violence

If you and your spouse have a history of domestic violence, the court will almost certainly order a detailed parenting plan, including pick-up and drop-off rules, to minimize contact between you. This might involve a neutral third party handling the exchanges, picking up the children from one household and taking them to the other. A judge may order a meeting point for the exchange, even if you don't live far apart. This might be the parking lot at a police station, or another highly-trafficked and safe location.

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Joint Custody Arrangements That Work

References

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Ideas for Sharing Custody

A shared parenting plan post-divorce or after parents break up might be the kindest gift they can give their children, according to “Parents” magazine. The custody laws in all states, which stress that children should have frequent and loving contact with both parents, are in line with this same principle. “Parents” magazine indicates that children who enjoy this contact after their parents part ways are better adjusted and have fewer socialization, school and behavioral problems. But shared custody requires the dedication of both parents to make it work.

Standard Visitation for South Carolina Child Custody

When you divorce, you and your spouse can agree to a custody arrangement that works best for both of you and that is in the best interests of your child, and the court typically accepts such arrangements. However, if you can’t agree, a South Carolina judge is likely to order a variation of your county’s standard visitation schedule.

The Basics of Full Custody in Michigan

All states base custody decisions on the best interest of the child, but Michigan has gone a step further. It does not leave the definition of “best interest” entirely to the interpretation of a single judge. Michigan’s state code includes the Child Custody Act, which specifies criteria which a judge must consider. Michigan courts generally will not award full custody to a parent unless she meets most, if not all, of these criteria. The state prefers that parents share joint custody whenever possible.

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