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What To Pack For Child Custody Exchanges


When two parents get divorced, it is not only they, but also their children who will need to adjust to living in two separate households. What such a schedule looks like will depend on the parenting plan that a couple comes up with or that a court puts in place. In either case, at the end of one parent’s designated time, he or she will need to transfer physical custody of that child to the other parent. This could involve meeting at a predetermined site, or even dropping the children off directly at the other parent’s house. The specifics will need to be hammered out in advance, so that the parties, as well as their children, know what to expect on a weekly basis.

The Time-Sharing Schedule 

The specifics of the custody arrangement will largely dictate what a parent needs to bring for a custody transfer. For instance, if a child splits his or her time equally with both parents, then both parents likely have a setup at each home for the child’s comfort. This could include not only a bedroom, but also the things that he or she needs on a daily basis, like clothing, a toothbrush, toys, and comfort items. As a result, parents with these kinds of schedules don’t usually need to send a lot of clothing items and items of that nature during a transfer. A child who spends every other weekend with one parent, on the other hand, may need to take more day-to-day items.

What to Send with Your Child 

It is a parent’s obligation to ensure that their children have all of the necessary items that they need when they leave their home for the other parent’s house, at least while the children are young. Items that you may want to consider packing, regardless of your specific time-sharing schedule include:

  • Homework, school projects that a child may be working on, and permission slips for field trips and other activities;
  • School uniforms, books, and supplies;
  • Sports uniforms and equipment;
  • Medication, vitamins, and medical supplies (e.g. inhalers);
  • Comfort objects, like a favorite stuffed animal;
  • Smartphones or tablets; and
  • Snacks and drinks for the drive.

Children often misplace items, so even if they technically have an item at their other parent’s house, it’s not a bad idea to send them with a back-up. It’s also important to make sure all of these items are packed in advance of the custody transfer, so that there are no hectic attempts to pack at the last minute.

What to Keep at Your Home 

Again, parents probably don’t need to send all of their childcare-related items during a custody transfer, as both parents likely have the necessities in their own households. By keeping those items at home, parents can help create a safe, familiar space for their children that doesn’t change week to week. At the end of the day, a custody transfer will likely become routine. Until that happens, however, having a packing list is a good way to ensure a more seamless transition between your home and that of your co-parent’s.

Set Up an Initial Consultation Today 

If you and your co-parent share custody of your children, you will likely need to engage in a custody exchange at some point. We can help you craft a detailed plan for what those exchanges will look like, so that there is no confusion for either you, your co-parent, or your child. To get started, reach out to dedicated and compassionate Fort Lauderdale child visitation and time-sharing attorney Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. today.




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