While custody agreements are often hashed out between parents, the court has the final say on all official orders that are developed during a divorce. Accordingly, it is crucial that both parents follow rules related to custody, visitation, and parenting time.
When these rules are ignored it is frustrating for all involved, especially for the parent who is constantly inconvenienced by rescheduling and lateness. Here are a few ways you can deal with an ex who refuses to abide by your parenting and custody schedule.
- Take legal action
At the end of the day, both you and your ex are beholden to the orders of the court. When these rules are disobeyed, you can take legal recourse to ensure the custody and parenting plan enforced. This typically entails the help of a divorce attorney, who can help you petition the court regarding the issue. In some cases, merely threatening legal action against your ex will be enough to change unwanted behaviors.
- Modify the existing parenting plan
Maybe your ex agreed to a parenting plan that is proving to be difficult to adhere to. Maybe situations have changed at work or school and your ex is no longer available for child-rearing duties at the same time periods. In either case, modifying the existing court order to something more amenable for all involved is the best course of action. It is natural for parenting schedules to be modified over time, especially as your child grows older and starts spending more time independently.
- Accept the situation for what it is
Some people are great parents but poor at planning and scheduling. If this aptly describes your ex-spouse, you may decide to take scheduling snafus in stride. This is not recommended if there are multiple issues with your co-parenting situation, such as poor communication or contention between you. However, if you are overall happy with your ex and are only frustrated with this aspect of their personality, acknowledge the problem and make concessions. For instance, if your ex is frequently late when picking up your child, schedule a window of time (such as 2 pm to 4 pm) instead of settling on one specific time for pick-up. While this will not work for everyone, some parents find it easier to be flexible and play it by ear.