Finding Neutral Territory For a Child Custody Exchange

On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It’s a common problem among divorced parents: The search for neutral territory in St. Louis for a child custody exchange.

If the mother and father have a contentious relationship, it’s often unlikely that the exchanges can go smoothly at either her place or his place. So they look for a spot where they can regularly meet and either pick up their child or drop their child off to spend time with their former spouse.

Far from us in Missouri, a Wisconsin county has come up with an idea that, if successful, might well spread. They’ve designed a child custody exchange zone that is monitored by video cameras 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The exchange zone is right in the Brown County sheriff’s office parking lot. In the lot, officials designated two parking spaces on either side of a safe, neutral zone. Parents can pull up on either side of the zone and either meet in the orange-colored neutral zone or send their child across the traffic-free zone for a safe, non-confrontational exchange.

The sheriff told a TV station reporter that the idea came about after officers repeatedly observed custody exchanges going on in the parking lot. One day, they noticed a child dart “in front of traffic and it kind of raised some concern,” he said.

So they set about designing an area that would eliminate traffic dangers, as well as provide a safe spot where parents could meet under the watchful eye of surveillance cameras.

A sheriff’s captain noted that there are custody exchanges going on in restaurant parking lots, gas station parking lots and convenience store parking lots that pose the same sorts of dangers to kids. He hopes that once parents learn of the neutral custody exchange area, they’ll make use of it and help ease tensions.

Source:, “First 24/7 Child Custody Exchange Zone,” Nov. 2, 2012

  • Our firm represents clients in child custody disputes. For more information, visit our St. Louis child custody page.
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