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Coparents: Be clear with guidelines for pickups and dropoffs

One of the worst things any coparent could have to deal with is when the other parent is incessantly late to pickups and drop-offs. On a weekly basis, this tardiness will eat into the time and schedule of the on-time parent creating stress and scheduling conflicts. As such, it's important to include clear language in any parenting agreement to cover the problem of a parent who can't seem to ever show up on time.

Here's what you should include:

  • If one parent can't exercise his or her parenting time on a particular week, he or she my notify the other parent as soon as possible.
  • If the a noncustodial parent is going to show up late, then he or she must notify the other parent as early as possible. If the custodial parent is made to wait for a pickup longer than 30 minutes after the scheduled pickup time, the visitation will be canceled until the next one.
  • If the child is ill and can't participate in visitation time, the custodial parent must notify the noncustodial parent of the canceled visitation as early as possible.
  • The parenting time scheduling can be changed, but only if both parents agree to the alterations.
  • The parents agree to adjust the parenting schedules fairly when there is a reasonable request for modification due to illness, other commitments and family obligations.
  • The custodial parent will give the noncustodial parent scheduled "make-up" time in reasonable situations.

By including the above language in your child custody agreement, you may circumvent a lot of headaches in the case that the other parent is perpetually late or irresponsibly misses scheduled pickup and drop-off times.

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