When Child Visitation Goes Wrong
It's usually up to the parents to create a visitation agreement that works. Children are entitled, in most cases, to spend time with both parents after a divorce. Visitation allows the non-custodial parent scheduled time to do that. However, many parents become enmeshed in issues both minor and major when it comes to child visitation. Read on for some ideas on what to do when problems occur.
Minor Visitation Problems
Parents are expected to follow the agreement. That means arriving and returning on time with very little variation. However, life may not always follow a schedule. Parents can get sick, must work late, be out of town, etc. when they are supposed to be taking care of the children. Agreements should be created that have contingencies for emergencies and parents must try to be understanding about occasional hiccups in plans.
However, a parent that makes a habit of not sticking to the schedule may be a problem. When plans fall through, it upsets the child and can make the parent's life chaotic. When the parent upsets the child, that is a huge issue if it goes on too long, one that parents may have to have a family court judge address.
On the other hand, parents should attempt to deal with minor issues themselves. Don't take up the judge's time with any of the below issues:
- You dislike that your ex is in a new relationship and don't want your child to be exposed to the new love interest.
- Your child sticks to a strict eating plan when they are in your care. However, your ex eats differently. Your child remains healthy and happy, however, regardless.
- You disagree with disciplinary rules like curfews, bedtimes, grades, friends, socializing, and more.
Work out the above minor issues yourself.
Major Visitation Problems
Monitoring your child's visitation is part of being a good custodial parent. If you suspect that something serious is going on, alert your lawyer. They can schedule an emergency hearing before a judge and visitation can be temporarily altered while an investigation is done.
- Child abuse, either physical or psychological
- Exposure of the child to dangerous situations or people
- Drug or alcohol abuse during visitation
- Travel outside the state or country without permission
It cannot be emphasized enough that you will need proof for any permanent changes to be made in visitation. That might mean witness testimony, photographs, police reports, etc. To find out more about solutions to visitation issues both minor and major, speak to a family law attorney. For more information, contact a family lawyer near you.