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Child custody exchanges can be dangerous for some people

In some South Carolina families who share custody of their children, child custody exchanges have the potential to be very volatile. It is important for people to remember that fighting in front of their children with their children's other parent is never in the best interests of the children.

While most exchanges of children happen without incident, they are filled with conflict for some people. Parents sometimes get into arguments about such issues as child support, parenting and school during child custody exchanges. In some cases, the arguments escalate to name-calling, pushing and hitting. There have been incidents in which parents have been shot by the other parent or by the other parent's new partner.

When child custody exchanges are hostile, it is bad for the children. Parents may call law enforcement officers to supervise the exchange, but their roles are normally limited to documenting what they see happen so that the court can review the information later. Parents should avoid getting into conflicts with their children's other parents during child custody exchanges. If they don't, they may end up losing custody and visitation rights with their children altogether.

A parent who is threatened by the other parent during a child custody exchange might want to get help from a family law attorney. A lawyer might file a motion with the court that holds jurisdiction over the case to try to get the exchanges completed at a neutral location where the exchange can be supervised by third parties. If there is a history of violence, the lawyer might file a motion seeking to limit or terminate the other parent's visitation rights to the child. If a parent physically attacks the other parent during an exchange, he or she may face criminal charges in addition to a loss of visitation or custody rights.

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