In recent years, an increasing number of safety centers have popped up across Florida where parents can exchange their kids during custody changeovers or meet with buyers to give them the products that they purchased online. While many moms and dads who have fallen victim to domestic violence at their ex's hands use them because it makes them feel safer, some say that they give parents a false sense of security.
Many moms or dads choose to use these safe exchange sites to exchange their kids because they feel comfort in knowing that they're monitored by security cameras and they're located by police stations. Those parents who have exes that have threatened to or previously committed domestic violence against them feel that these may deter them from physically harming them. They don't always have the expected impact though.
A few months ago, on Christmas, two young children in Alabama were forced to watch in horror as their mom's boyfriend allegedly took out a gun and shot their father dead right there in the parking lot of the police department for their city.
Events like these have motivated government officials who offer these meetup locations to institute additional rules and increased surveillance to keep visitors safe. Most of them are well-lit outside and have cameras both inside and out.
Some Florida safe centers are staffed by a social worker who can supervise parenting time for a fee. They often watch over kids during the 15-minute period that parents are required to honor between one parent dropping the children off and the other picking them up. Many of these facilities have this rule in place in an effort to minimize stalking.
Many facilities like this are also equipped with dual entrances, one each for the custodial and noncustodial parent to use. The goal of having these is to minimize contact between the parents so that no conflict arises.
Exchanging custody of your kids can be particularly unsafe, especially if your ex has a history of having been violent toward you. A child custody attorney can help you establish or modify an existing parenting plan if you'd like it to reflect that all child custody exchanges should happen at one of these safe centers in Fort Myers.