Why a parent might show up late for a custody exchange

|September 30, 2020 | Firm News

Pennsylvania law typically allows parents to have custody or visitation rights to their children after a divorce or breakup. However, it can be challenging to work with your child’s other parent after a romantic relationship comes to an end. For example, your ex may consistently show up late to a custody or visitation exchange. There are many potential reasons why he or she would engage in such behavior.

It may be a way to assert control

Exes who believe that they were taken advantage of during a relationship may attempt to exert control by arriving late to a child exchange. This means the other parent must wait at the transition site with the kids until he or she shows up. While you may not have conclusive proof that your former spouse is acting in a deliberate manner, those who are consistently late may be doing so on purpose.

Legitimate reasons why a person might be late to pick up a child

It’s important to consider the legitimate reasons why a person would have trouble sticking to a custody or visitation transition schedule. For instance, your former spouse may not leave work until a few minutes before he or she is supposed to take possession of the child. In some cases, heavy traffic or a car problem could prevent your son or daughter’s other parent from showing up on time. Sometimes it can be valuable to give that parent the benefit of the doubt, or at least to listen to their explanation.

Tips for resolving the issue peacefully

Ideally, you will talk with the other parent to determine the cause of the issue. It may be necessary to alter the custody or visitation schedule to make it easier for this person to be ready for an exchange to occur. For example, it might be a good idea to do an exchange in the evening as opposed to the early afternoon.

If you have concerns about a child custody agreement, it may be a good idea to address them with a family law attorney. Legal counsel could provide tips as to how you can resolve any issues that you’re currently experiencing.

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