Not Sticking to the Plan
Your parenting plan carefully lays out how you and your child’s other parent will care for your children, but what do you do when one parent fails to adhere to their parenting time schedule?
Parenting time failures take place when your co-parent interferes with your time with your child or when your co-parent fails to show up for their scheduled visitation times with your child.
Types of Parenting Time Interference
Ways your co-parent may be interfering with your time with your child include:
- Refusing you to let you see your child
- Not dropping off your child at scheduled times
- Canceling visitation days
- Not allowing you to speak with your child on the phone
- Preventing you from attending your child’s school or extracurricular activities
- Manipulating your child, so he or she doesn’t want to spend time with you
- Speaking poorly about you in front of your child
- Moving your child to another state without your permission
The court takes all these types of parenting time interference violations seriously. It is in the best interests of a child to have a strong relationship with both parents. Actions the courts might take to remedy the situation from make-up parenting time and changes to parenting time orders to fines and potential arrest and imprisonment.
Types of Parenting Time Failure
If your co-parent fails to show up for their scheduled time with their child, this is a parenting time failure. Ways a co-parent may fail you and your child include:
- Consistently showing up late or not at all for pick-ups
- Canceling scheduled physical custody days
- Not attending your child’s school or extracurricular activities
- Moving to another state without the court’s permission
The court takes these types of parenting time failures equally as serious as time interference. It takes a psychological toll on your child if he or she feels abandoned or neglected by either parent. While you may want the court to give you sole custody when your co-parent consistently fails your child, the courts more likely will work to bring the other parent back into your child’s life by ordering mediation, counseling, supervised visits, and potentially even fines.
Tracking Parenting Time Interference or Failure
It is important to carefully track the dates, times, and the types of parenting time failures occurring. If you are using the Talking Parents co-parenting app to track your communications with your spouse, there is another tool in the app you may want to use in this situation.
The Talking Parents Journal feature
allows you to keep a private record of issues you believe are negatively impacting your parenting plan. You can use this record to start to remedy the situation.
Perhaps your co-parent’s work schedule changed, and it is impacting their ability to stick to the current parenting plan arrangement. Or, maybe there is an illness or injury that is impacting their schedule. Most co-parents run into parenting time failure issues at some point. Ideally, you and your co-parent can communicate in a civil manner and resolve the time failure issues. If not, turn to the courts for help as quickly as possible, it is in the best interests of your child that they enjoy time with both parents.