People living in the upper Midwest understand that winter weather is often an hour-by-hour change. Commuters might experience a bright and sunny morning drive into work and face a foot of snow on the way home. These aggressive weather changes can have a dramatic impact on both road safety and an individual’s ability to keep his or her scheduled appointments. When these appointments include child custody exchanges, there can be serious ramifications.
Divorced parents can follow certain tips that might help prevent unnecessary stress and legal consequences during the child custody exchange, including:
- Decide on alternate locations: If bad weather is a possibility, it is wise to decide on a few acceptable alternate locations well in advance. Whether this is a location equidistant from both parents or a common exchange – as in one parent takes the child to school and the other parent picks the child up – this could alleviate pressure.
- Approve exchange proxies: It is not uncommon for bad weather to gridlock roads and shut down mass transit. If this happens, a parent might find it hard to get from work to the custody exchange. It is important to identify friends, family or trusted neighbors who might have a better chance of getting to the exchange on time and safely.
- Over-communicating is okay: One of the worst things a parent can do is hold off until the last minute to identify and communicate a potential issue. Whether you prefer to call, text or email, it is crucial to keep your ex updated on any weather-related trouble on the horizon. It might be possible to work out an acceptable solution hours in advance.
While dramatic changes in Minnesota winter weather might be impossible to accurately anticipate, divorced parents can put contingencies in place to reduce stress and arguments. It might be time to thoroughly review your parenting plan agreement and make any additions or revisions that seem necessary.