Focusing On Family Law – And You
The ink on your divorce decree may be dried, but the problems between you and your former spouse are bleeding over into your post-divorce life, especially if you are parents.
Your divorce decree includes a parenting plan. Unless both parents in California share joint physical custody, the sole custodial parent has the child the majority of the time and the non-custodial parent has visitation with the child on certain nights, weekends and holidays.
Both parents are responsible for showing up to child custody exchanges on time. This is not only a show of respect for one another’s rights to the child, but it is for the benefit of the child who needs to spend time with both parents.
So, what can you do if your child’s other parent is constantly late for showing up for child custody exchanges or worse does not show up at all?
When your child’s other parent fails to show up
If your child’s other parent consistently fails to show up to child custody exchanges, you have some options.
First, keep records of late-shows or no-shows. These events violate your child custody order, and they can serve as evidence if you need to take further action.
If possible, try to talk to your child’s other parent about these violations. They may have a practical reason for being unable to show up on time or otherwise follow the parenting plan.
You may be able to work together to make arrangements that work for you both. You can modify your parenting plan with the court to make these new arrangements official and enforceable.
If your child’s other parent is violating the parenting plan on purpose, you may need to take more aggressive actions. You can call the police to have your custody order enforced or even file a contempt case with the court. This gives a judge the authority to enforce an order that was willfully violated.
We all live complicated lives and sometimes despite our best efforts, we cannot make a parenting plan work. Some parents even choose to willfully violate their parenting plan, leading to child custody and visitation disputes. If so, you have options to ensure child custody exchanges work as they are supposed to.