After a divorce, parents have to follow a visitation schedule so they both have time with the kids. If one parent refuses to follow this schedule, the custodial parent needs to know what to do.
Parents may have different kinds of visitation schedules depending on their situation. FindLaw says that people may set their own visitation schedule if they communicate well. Courts may establish a fixed visitation schedule if they think the children need more stability or if the parents cannot communicate. Regardless of which arrangement people have, both parents have to follow the schedule. If a parent does not follow the arrangement, he or she may be in contempt of court.
When one parent continually misses visitations or comes late, the other parent can resolve the situation in a few different ways. According to Divorce Magazine, parents should try speaking to their ex-spouse about the missed visits. If parents are not on good terms, they may seek mediation so they can discuss the issue on neutral grounds. Sometimes people may fail to follow the schedule because of situations they could not control, such as car trouble or work. However, some parents may also ignore the schedule on purpose. The custodial parent will not know the extent of the situation if he or she does not communicate.
People should document every incident that occurs. If a parent shows up late for visits or leaves early, the other parent should record when he or she arrived and left and how much time the kids actually had with their parent. If a parent sent a text message or an email to cancel the visit, people should keep these messages. Additionally, parents should keep a calendar of the missed visits so it is easy to see if these are occasional incidents or a recurring pattern.
While some parents may be able to resolve these issues on their own, other people may need to go to court to find a better visitation schedule.