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The possible dangers of custody exchanges

Texas parents who are no longer in a relationship know that their children remain a connection between them. After negotiating custody and support, parents still need to continue navigating the raising of the children. This includes regular exchanges when children go from the physical custody of a parent to another.

While most child custody exchanges are peaceful and routine, tension can arise during these periods, and in some cases, the exchanges can become dangerous or even fatal. Exchanges fall under the protection of visitation rights, which entitle both parents to spend time with their children under their custody agreement. The agreements are made with the best interest of the child in mind.

Some exchanges, however, might not proceed as smoothly as they can, particularly when differences about education, upbringing or the paying of child support arise. In those cases, it is counterproductive to react based on emotions because when the parents do, the situation might become volatile and even violent. There are some examples with extreme consequences during custody exchanges, such as a 49-year-old Texas man being shot and killed in front of his children by his ex-wife's boyfriend when the exchange was taking place.

While police can be called in during tense custody exchanges, normally they are limited to being observers who record what happens during the exchange. This information might later be reviewed in court. However, hostile or violent behavior from either or both parents during an exchange might be viewed negatively by the court, and the parents could risk losing custody of their children altogether.

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