When California parents separate, they will likely share child-rearing duties between each other. Depending on the situation, this means that the children will be exchanged between the two parents in accordance with custody and visitation schedules. While most parents are able to exchange their children with no trouble, it can be dangerous when disagreements rise.
The child custody agreement usually determines where, when and how the exchange of the children will take place. Parents who cannot agree may begin to hold a grudge when certain topics come up. In rare cases, the exchange environment may actually become hostile and result in the parents acting in questionable ways. In fact, there have been cases where the children or one of the parents ends up harmed.
One example of an extreme case occurred when a 20-year-old Texas man planned to have his friend shoot and injure him in an attempt to win custody. However, he died instead. Another Texas man, aged 49, was killed after the boyfriend of his ex-wife shot him during the custody exchange. As such, parents should proceed with caution when tempers and emotions are running high.
If a parent has evidence that the other parent is not of sound mind or cannot take care of the children, they may have the grounds to seek sole custody. A family law attorney may assist with petitioning the court and file the paperwork needed. If both parents are capable of taking care of the children, the attorney may assist with drafting a parenting plan that includes where child exchanges take place. If the parents cannot agree, the attorney may find a neutral place where the children can be exchanged to prevent sudden disputes from occurring.