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Visitation Part 2: Pick up, Drop off and Last Minute Schedule Changes

schedulecalIt’s very rare that parties to a divorce, or parents who are no longer in a relationship, get along very well. After all, if you did, you’d likely still be together, right? It is more typically the case that parents do NOT get along. As a result, dealing with visitation issues and transfer of the child or scheduling issues can become difficult to navigate.

There are definitely ways to make things a little easier and lessen the strife associated with these issues. Consider these when making agreements (temporary or permanent) and/or when setting “ground rules” with the other parent.

1. Have pick up or drop with little or no interaction between the parents. You can simply agree that the parent transporting the child stay at the car while the child runs up the drive to the other parent.

2. Have a third party conduct the pick up or drop off. If a significant other, grandparent or neighbor is available, agree to have that person conduct the pick up. Visitation will go much smoother that way.

3. Have pick up or drop off in a public place. Meet the other parent at the mall or after an activity for drop off. I don’t recommend the police station but certainly there are other well populated places to take the child for pick up or drop off.

4. Report issues timely. Nobody likes to find out there is an issue, especially if they are already in route or have planned around a visit. Report an issue as soon as you know about it even if you haven’t found the solution or don’t know exactly how it will affect the plans.

5. Communicate any issues or changes by text, email or other technology. Let modern technology work for you. If you can’t talk easily with the other party, don’t. Use technology to transmit messages about changes.

6. Do unto others as you’d have done to you. Sounds elementary, right? Sometimes with all the emotions wrapped up in these issues, we forget this phrase.

Every situation is different but little things can make your difficult visits easier. Think outside the box and agree on things that make both of your lives easier.

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