If you are going through a divorce and have children, you likely have both large and small matters to settle. Using divorce mediation to address these issues may be the right approach. After all, addressing most issues outside of court likely increases your chances of reaching the outcome you want. 

When you are negotiating custody-related matters, put some thought into where you exchange the kids when your parenting time starts and stops. While many different sites may theoretically work, good exchange locations typically have three features. 

1. Safety

When swapping your kids, you do not want to endanger anyone. Therefore, you probably want to visit all potential exchange locations with which you are unfamiliar. If a spot seems sketchy, cross it off your list. 

Alternatively, pick a location you, your ex-spouse and your kids already know well, such as your children’s school. 

2. Accessibility

Good custody hand-off spots are convenient. That is, they are easy for both parents to reach without spending too much time on an unnecessary commute. If you and your ex-spouse live near each other, this may not be much of an issue. Otherwise, look for a spot that is roughly equidistant between your home and your ex’s. 

3. Neutrality

If you have chosen to use mediation to wrap up your marriage, you may already be on comparatively good terms with your ex-spouse. Still, you may be uncomfortable seeing each other in a new environment. 

To have a successful co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse, you must set expectations early. By including a neutral, accessible and safe hand-off location in your parenting plan, you start off on the right foot.