There will always be times when there are unexpected events that come up for your child. As they get older, those unexpected events might happen more often.

Here’s an example. A teen who is part of a basketball team may have a longer practice than usual. A friend may ask your child to stay at their home overnight if they were working on a project late in to the evening. Your teen might decide to go on a trip for school or go to a friend’s home on one of your custody days.

It’s important for you and your co-parent to talk about how you want to handle situations like this. As your child gets older, having more flexibility in your custody schedule may be essential.

How can you handle an unexpected event on your co-parent’s custody day?

If you have a child who is older and starting to make plans on their own, it may be a good time to sit down and talk to them about expectations. For example, if your child lives primarily in your home and your ex-spouse sees them only two days a week, talk to your child about the importance of them spending some time with the other parent. Set aside some specific times when they can see friends and talk to them about giving notice when they want to make plans.

If your child is young and is starting to have more activities, it might be time to adjust your custody schedule to make it more suitable for your situation. If the schedule isn’t compatible, then it may be time for a child custody modification request.