Parent-child contact schedules after divorce
It is not uncommon for parents to get frustrated while sharing parenting, especially when the child is picked up or dropped off late, the child is not ready when it is time for pickup, or the other parent forgets the date or time of a pickup or drop-off altogether.
It is really important for parents to consider the details when making shared parenting arrangements so that they can minimize the chances of having frustrations over the dates and times of changeovers.
Bob and Christie had many frustrations over their shared parenting arrangement until they decided to sit down and go over their schedules in detail, including dates for special occasions, and discuss all the hypothetical scenarios that could interfere with the agreed-upon schedule.
By discussing the issues in depth, they were able to become very clear about what would and wouldn’t work, going forward. Christie had a new job with a very demanding schedule, and Bob hadn’t fully understood this. He would often be at least twenty minutes late picking up their son, Andrew, and Christie would be furious, as she would, in turn, be late for work.
When Andrew had gotten sick, Bob assumed that Christie should be the one to pick him up from school and stay with him, since she had traditionally taken care of him when he was ill. Christie needed to sit down and explain the details of her new job, the expectations of her boss, and the ramifications of missing time in order to really get through to Bob about how important it was that she maintain a strict work schedule, at least while she was proving herself in her new job. Once Bob understood this, he agreed to start being extremely punctual, and since he had his own business and a very flexible schedule, he agreed to be the one to step in when their child was sick.
It is normal for unexpected circumstances to pop up that may cause a parent to be late or be unable to spend agreed-upon time with the child, but consistent issues need to be addressed. Timing problems can often be rectified the way they were with Bob and Christie, through a detailed, honest conversation and a discussion of clear expectations. However, when the problem continues, and the arrangement is clearly being disregarded, a parent may file an application requesting that the court take action.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.