Many North Carolina parents who are no longer married share custody of their children. This means that they must occasionally drop their children off or physically exchange their children. Even if the parents were able to amicably dissolve their marriage, dealing with custody disputes can often result in frustration and other strong emotions that can potentially make the child exchange environment dangerous.
For example, there have been cases where parents themselves have been harmed or killed during the child swap. One 49-year-old Texas man was shot and killed by his ex-wife's boyfriend in front of the children. Another Texas man crafted a plan that involved his friend shooting and injuring him so that he could have custody of his children. He was ultimately killed during the exchange. A Colorado man intended to blame the child's mother for putting a knife in the child's backpack when he in fact did so. This stunt caused him to be charged with child abuse.
In order to prevent these types of cases from occurring, parents should learn how to manage child custody disagreements in a healthy manner. If parents absolutely cannot agree, they could potentially lose custody of their children, especially if a parent becomes violent.
Because a child custody dispute can potentially become dangerous, a family law attorney may assist with negotiating a parenting plan and a place where the children can be exchanged. If a parent has a problem regarding the child custody order, the attorney may negotiate with the other parent to come to a new plan that both parents agree with. If there is evidence that the other parent is abusive or has shown evidence of violence, the attorney may help the parent seek an emergency order of protection that keeps the children safe.