In order for your custody arrangement to work, both you and your ex must follow the orders laid out by the court. This is often easier said than done, especially if your spouse is lax about maintaining visitation schedules.
Co-parenting with your ex is challenging under the best of circumstances, but it can seem impossible when they do not follow the rules. Here are a few things you can do to deal with a former spouse who regularly flouts custody guidelines.
While you might not want to compromise, especially if you worked hard to hash out a custody agreement that works for everyone, it could be in your best interest. If your ex is constantly late or rescheduling, ask them to sit down to develop a new agreement. Perhaps they have a new schedule at work that is making it difficult for them to adhere to the previously devised terms. If you can come up with an improved schedule on your own, it will not be necessary to get the court involved. By being flexible, you can avoid some of the contentiousness associated with custody issues.
Take the actions in stride
All people have good and bad qualities. If your ex is a caring and responsible parent in general but is often late picking up your child, you might consider how important the issue really is. Unless your ex’s lateness is affecting you adversely, such as by making you late for work or causing your child a lot of stress, being understanding might be the best course of action to keep the peace in your family.
Talk to your attorney
If you are experiencing adverse effects because of lateness and scheduling changes, and no amount of discussion is affecting the issue, it is time to talk with your attorney. When court orders are not followed the uncompliant party can be held in contempt, or you can work to negotiate a modification that your former spouse is willing to follow. In either case, the courts can mandate that your ex must take specific actions when it comes to custody and visitation, as well as mete out punishments when these actions are not taken.