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Helton Law Firm, PLLC

When child custody exchanges go wrong

When Tennessee parents of minor children get divorced, there is a chance that they will share parenting duties. If the parents do each get a specific amount of time to spend with their children, there will be a need to actually physically hand the children over from one parent to the other. While thousands of families are involved in child custody exchanges every day, there are cases where these physical exchanges can have serious consequences.

Child custody exchanges can become particularly dangerous as this is often the only time that parents see each other face to face. When disagreements about child rearing, education and child support arise, emotions can potentially run high, leading to potentially dangerous or emotionally damaging situations. For example, a disagreement could result in parents hitting, pushing or screaming at each other with the children present.

Some parents take disagreements too far and attempt to remove the other parent from the children's lives during the child custody exchange. For example, a 49-year-old Texas man was shot and killed by his former wife's boyfriend during a routine custody exchange. Another Texas man was charged with child abuse and reckless endangerment after he put a knife in his child's backpack in an attempt to blame the mother.

In general, it is considered to be in the children's best interests for both parents to remain an essential part of their lives. However, there are certain cases where a court may determine that one parent should be granted sole physical custody, particularly if the other parent has a history of domestic violence or substance abuse. If a parent has such a concern, a family law attorney may assist with seeking sole physical custody.

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