When you are trying to manage a child custody schedule, it can be infuriating to deal with an ex who doesn’t pick up or drop off your child at the right time. You may be doing everything right, like rushing to get your child ready at the right time to go or making sure you’re at a drop-off location on time, but if the other parent isn’t holding up their end of the arrangement, your life can become more difficult as a result.
It’s important for you to know that your custody order is binding. You need to continue to do your part to make your child available, but if the other parent is violating the order, then it’s time to have a discussion.
Talk to the other parent
If the late pickups and drop-offs are unusual for the other parent, ask them if there is something going on that is making it hard to get to you on time. For example, did their work schedule change, or is there a detour that makes it take longer to reach your agreed upon destination at the right time? Listen and see if there is anything minor that can be done to adjust, such as setting the time for pickup and drop-off forward or back 15 or 20 minutes.
Express that you would like to be on the same page with your pickup and drop-off times so that you know that you can rely on the other parent arriving at the time they’re supposed to.
Get the court involved
There are times when it’s appropriate to get the court involved. For example, if the other parent doesn’t bring your child home or is getting later and later each time, you may want to talk to your attorney about modifying custody or making the judge aware that the other parent isn’t sticking to the schedule.
In some cases, such as those where parental kidnapping could be a risk, you may be able to ask for supervised visitation or changes to the schedule to make sure you always know where your child is and when they’ll be returned to you.