Whether you were lucky enough to amicably negotiate a parenting plan with your ex or you went to court because you couldn’t agree on anything, you expect them to abide by your arrangements. Unfortunately, you may have noticed a distressing trend.
The more time that passes, the more frequently your ex seems to cancel their parenting time. A single cancellation occasionally is inevitable, as unusual demands can arise in anyone’s life. However, if your ex has made a habit of canceling at the last minute or blowing off a weekend with the children with promises to make it up to the children later, you may need to start keeping records of when they don’t show up so that you can get a custody modification.
There are two very good reasons to change your custody arrangements when your ex doesn’t show up for their scheduled parenting time.
Canceled visits are hard on the children
Kids do not understand the nuances of adult life or how a well-intentioned parent can put their own business ahead of doing what is best for the kids. Even if you and your ex provide explanations for each canceled session, they will take it personally.
They will feel rejected and abandoned. The more frequently it happens, the more it could damage their self-esteem or harm their relationship with the no-show parent. When you adjust the parenting plan to reflect your ex’s actual contributions, your children won’t have to wonder why the schedule keeps changing because someone doesn’t show up.
Both parents have responsibilities to the children
When your ex doesn’t show up for their time with the children, that isn’t just disruptive to your schedule. It also passes additional responsibility for the children to you.
The amount of child support you receive or pay reflects not just how much money you make but also how much time you spend with the children. If your ex consistently fails to arrive, you may want to reduce the number of overnight visits they have in the parenting plans, as that could affect the support obligations for your family as well.
Recognizing when it is time to ask for a custody modification can help you manage the stresses of shared custody more gracefully.