Minnesota’s winters are notoriously frigid. Whether you love bundling up and heading out into the cold or prefer to stay toasty indoors, you recognize the inherent dangers of the first few months of the year. Regardless, if you have to meet up with a former spouse to exchange your children, you must be extra careful during the winter. 

Sharing custody of children with an ex-spouse can be challenging. Fortunately, by establishing healthy boundaries and forming good habits, you can likely boost your odds of having an effective co-parenting relationship. You do not want your custody exchange to become problematic, though. Here are some tips for reducing conflict during wintertime custody hand-offs: 

Prepare your children 

Both you and your former partner want what is best for the kids. If there is even a remote chance that your children may be outside, you must prepare them for winter weather. Failing to do so is a good way to irritate your ex-spouse. After all, with below-zero wind chills, bare skin is susceptible to frostbite in under 30 minutes. 

Allow additional time 

You should always commit to arriving at the hand-off site a bit early. Of course, during inclement weather, you may not be able to drive normal speeds. As such, if the weather is bad, you should allow additional time to reach your destination. Note, though, if bad weather interferes with your custody time, you must still comply with your support obligations. 

Communicate with your ex-spouse 

You probably have a custody agreement or parenting plan that describes your custody hand-off in great detail. Still, an unexpected blizzard or black ice may make complying with the terms of your agreement nearly impossible. Therefore, you should keep an eye on the weather and communicate with your ex-spouse as soon as you identify an issue. 

Even in ideal weather, custody exchanges can be difficult for co-parents. When temperatures plummet, though, knowing how to reduce conflict is essential. Luckily, with a bit of planning and some care, you can likely boost your chances of having a low-stress hand-off.