Divorce for Dummies – Chapter 4 - Pick Up on Aisle 3?
Next time you visit your local fast food outlet, like McDonalds, take a look around. You’ll be surprised to know that not everyone is there to enjoy a Happy Meal.
That’s because for many of the mothers and fathers, who become regular customers, the only reason they are there is to drop off, or pick up, their children. McDonalds is a popular choice as a designated location for feuding, separated parents, because it’s viewed as neutral, typically busy, and distracting for the children. Considered ideal as a less stressful means to exchange the children than a simple door to door arrangement.
In my many years of family practice, I have most often opposed such sterile, artificial arrangements. I believe it sends a clear message to the children that one, or the other parent, is not to be trusted or respected, not a productive or healthy message. It may even cause the children to blame themselves for this unhealthy, and unnatural, method of exchange. Sort of like trading spies during the Cold War days.
Yes, if there is evidence of family violence or abuse, there are times that such exchange arrangements are necessary. However in my experience a key motivating factor is simply often a matter of resentment of one parent (or both) towards the other. If this sounds like you, and your own circumstances, I encourage you to reconsider your exchange alternatives. It may actually lead to far more productive and helpful parenting discussions, and arrangements.
Tomorrow, I have a family proceeding in Supreme Court, which deals with various parenting related matters. One of the orders being sought by opposing counsel, and their client is a term that the child is to be picked up and dropped off at a local Save-On grocery store.
I will submit my opinion to the judge. Namely, grocery stores, like Save-On are places people should go to pick up their groceries, not their children.
I truly hope, for the child’s sake, the judge agrees.
To learn more Call Scott Taylor at 604-534-6361