For many busy Minnesota families, finding a safe, accessible time and place to exchange custody of a child or several children can be a challenge. From switching out car seats to managing traffic and complex schedules, making the transfer from one parent to another can often be the source of confusion and chaos.
One sheriff's department in nearby Wisconsin has developed an easy solution for parents in the area and created a designated "child exchange zone" in their parking lot. The "zone" is actually just a few specially marked parking spots, but it is monitored by the department's security cameras and has a place for each parent to park and a neutral zone in the middle to safely transfer kids without fear of traffic or other hazards.
The local captain at that office told reporters that they noticed parents using their lot to transfer custody all the time, and felt that it would benefit the community to establish a designated zone. He said that they witnessed children escaping the control of their parents and darting out of the parking lot and towards traffic, which raised concerns.
The zone can also benefit parents who have had a contentious divorce and don't wish to spend time at each other's homes doing the exchange. Finding a neutral, safe area that is under the watchful eye of local law enforcement officers means that parents can avoid some of the stress and emotional difficulty of visiting homes or workplaces or passing off custody in the chaos of a school.
What do you think - would Lakeville families benefit from a similar safe space?
Source: wbay, "First 24/7 Child Custody Exchange Zone" Jennifer Wilson, Nov. 2, 2012
Our Lakeville law firm helps families create child custody agreements and deal with other aspects of the divorce process. More information is available on our website.