Most divorced parents in Illinois work hard to maintain cordial relationships with their children’s other parent. Sometimes, however, tensions can erupt or situations become strained. This can be particularly true during custody exchanges, the act of one parent dropping the kids off at the other parent’s home for parenting time or visitation.

The reason why custody exchanges can become tense vary between families. In some cases, the parents have unresolved emotions that tend to peak when both parties are in the same room. In addition, a parent who is dropping a child off at the home of the parent with physical custody may be resentful that the other parent has more time with the children.

Another possible reason for tension to be present during a custody exchange is because one parent may have become romantically involved or married to someone else. In such situations, jealousy may trigger strong feelings. Regardless of why it is occurring, conflict during custody exchanges can have a detrimental effect on children and may eventually lead to a custody dispute.

Since it’s so important to create a stable environment for children, any animosity should be addressed right away. This may mean talking with a counselor or mediator who can help the parents resolve hard feelings and work together to create a positive climate for the kids. In very serious situations, parents may be required to alter the way they exchange custody. In the case of older children, the parents may decide to have no contact with each other during drop-off and pickup times.

Parents who are concerned about issues that arise during custody exchanges may want to speak with an attorney who is experienced in family law matters. A lawyer may be able to review the client’s case and make recommendations regarding child custody modifications or other strategies for reducing tension and keeping them from escalating.