When a Parent is Being Inconsistent with Their Visitation

The judge placed me on a “fixed visitation” schedule, what is that?Even with court orders in place, you can’t always force a parent to show up. For many families across the country, it is a reality that some parents do not want to maintain consistent contact with their children when a relationship ends between two parents. Some parents actually choose to not engage in visitation entirely! No matter the situation, this can become difficult on your child. Today we will help answer some of your questions regarding a parent who does not show up to visitation.

Inconsistent Visitation FAQ 

What happens if my ex bails on visitation and it is letting my child down? You may be able to take matters into your own hands and what we mean by that is visitation. If your ex is letting your child down or not returning phone calls, you could sit down together and figure out if there is a problem – such as inconvenient visitation time or emotional troubles between your child and the other parent. There could be solutions waiting to be found.

If the other parent doesn’t use visitation, can I keep my kids away from them? You have to be able to make your children available for scheduled visitation even if, some weeks, your ex doesn’t show up. If he is not using visitation for quite some time, you could petition the court for a modification.

What if my ex is always cancelling at the last minute? If there are constantly excuses for cancelling visitation, you should have a conversation with your ex about how this isn’t fair to your children. You will only punish your child by stopping visitation completely. Visitation is important and the courts see it that way as well.

What do I do if my ex’s new job makes for an unpredictable visitation schedule? If your ex’s new job schedule is leading to an unpredictable schedule with cancellations, then you may need to change some things. This could be as simple as cancelling visits when he is working rather than last minute notice. If he can’t stick to the schedule and work through it, then court may be your only option. 

Can my ex pick up the children for visitation whenever they want? No, this would also be reason for a modification because it is not a healthy schedule for your children to be coming and going whenever he pleases. 

What steps can I take if the visitation requirements are not being fulfilled? You cannot force somebody to go to visitation, and you must understand this. By keeping the other parent involved as much as possible, you are doing everything you can. If the situation is already difficult, court can sometimes make things more difficult, but sometimes it is necessary.

How can I help my children through this difficult and emotional time? There are some things that you can do to make things easier on your children even when the other parent is not showing up for visitation. Always allow your children to share their feelings on the issue and never badmouth your ex around them. Support whatever contact occurs, even if it is minimal. If you need help with your visitation case because you are working through difficult times, call us for more information on how we can help and possibly lessen the load on your already stressful times.