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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New Jersey Law on Joint Physical Custody

New Jersey courts don't often order joint physical custody arrangements, but "order" is the operative word. When parents agree that this is what they want for their children, and if they incorporate a joint physical custody plan into their marital settlement agreement, judges will typically sign the agreement into a divorce judgment. The court's resistance only comes into play when one parent wants joint physical custody and the other objects. This requires a trial, and a judge will weigh several stringent factors before ordering joint physical custody over the wishes of one parent.

Visitation Rights for Fathers Over 100 Miles From a Child

Half of all children born to married parents in the United States will experience a divorce in their family before they reach 18, according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Thus, divorce courts nationwide are accustomed to handling child custody and visitation issues. Though state laws vary, courts generally make every effort to design a visitation arrangement that is in the best interests of the child, even when one parent lives a long distance away.

Custody Laws in Kentucky

The finer points of custody can vary from state to state, but most legislation runs along common lines. Like many states, Kentucky recognizes two basic forms of custody. Courts can order a temporary arrangement pending your divorce, and the state's code includes specific provisions to help guide a judge when custody is hotly contested.

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