Visiting Parent Hasn’t Kept Up With Custody

Q: Visiting parent who hasn’t kept up with custody, what happens? Does he or she lose rights?  Normally and then in today’s COVID days?

A parent who is awarded parenting time has the choice to exercise his/her time.  If he or she does not exercise awarded time, she is not in contempt, per say. That said, if a parent consistently declines their awarded parenting time, one can make an argument to terminate or modify that time particularly where 1) the other parent incurs costs as a result (ie has to hire a babysitter to cover the other’s parenting time) 2) the child is left upset or disappointed or 3) there is a gap in the parenting time such that the child is not as familiar or comfortable with the parent. Every situation is unique.

SOLUTION: You should consult with an attorney specific to your orders and your circumstances.

In recent times, COVID-19 has drastically impacted parenting time for many parents.  If a parent chose to forego parenting time due to COVID, it is very unlikely that a court is going to hold that against him or her. It’s best to work together to resume the parenting time schedule when it is safe to do that rather than argue about a parent’s decision to forego the time.

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