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Late for Visitation

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Latest post Fri, Jul 9 2010 5:16 PM by superman1. 7 replies.
  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 12:10 PM

    Late for Visitation

    I had been informed by my attorney that if the non-custodial parent is late to pick up a child for scheduled visitation, I am not obligated to release the child for said visitation.  The example she gave at the time was, if  the order states that weekend visitation begins at 6 pm on Friday but the other parent does not show up to get the child until Saturday morning I am not required to release the child until the start of the next visitation time.  There is nothing in my actual order that addresses any of this, and I assume that any judge would expect both parents to be "reasonable" about this.  My question is - have there been any cases/judgements that have established some standard of what is reasonable?  I would think that the other parent being denied visitation if they are  5 minutes late would be frowned upon.  But what about 2 hours late?  Half a day late?  Or is it basically subject to the whim of whatever judge presiding over the case?  


  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 3:23 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    Look at it this way:  your lawyer may be correct that if ex is significantly late you have no obligation to let the child go for visitation however if you decide to start doing that and ex hauls you into court for contempt who wins?  The lawyers who make money via more fees and court appearances.  Now, if you work with ex and make it clear that arriving late is fine but it doesn't change when child comes back; that they have to return at scheduled time who wins?  Child and both of you.  Plus it costs nothing and you earn more respect from your child for putting them first.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller


  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 3:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    I'm in complete agreement with ClydesMom.


  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 3:34 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Sat, Jan 1 2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,363

    Re: Late for Visitation

    I know people with clauses in their orders  that a "no show" and "no call" within one or two  hours of the scheduled pick up time means that the visitation is "forfeited" for that period. With the prevelance of cell phones, it shouldn't be that hard for an NCP to call if he or she runs into heavy traffic, has to work late, etc.

    If this one is a recurring "bone of contention" between you and the ex, consider amending your orders to include such language.

  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 3:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    While I respect everyone's opinio... you do not know any of the facts of my situation.  Does anyone know of any actual cases that address when the non-custodial parent has essentially waived their regularly scheduled visitation due to being late?  

    Thank you.  



  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 4:14 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    How far is he or she traveling for the visitation.

    I myself, travel 1000 miles, and I can tell you, there have been times, that other than flapping my arms and trying to fly there myself, there was absolutely nothing I could do to be on time.  If an airport closes, etc, I can tell you from first hand experience, the judge will NOT look upon the custodial parent fondly if they have refused the visitation for being late.

    That said, your circumstances are likely the deciding factor.  If your ex is simply not showing up on time for no great reason, and never calls, that's another story.  If that's the case, go to court, show your evidence, and explain have the visitation changed.


  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 5:09 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    I see your point about distance - I was just wondering if it comes down to a he said/she said if the judge might default to some reasonable standard.  In the past I have been more than flexible about working out visitation.  But after a move out of the country for over five months with no visitation, then suddenly calling me with NO notice (literally 15 minutes before he shows up at the door) to say he is on his way to pick up the kids at the house 8 days after his court ordered month long summer possession started... I am determined to follow ONLY  the current order and nothing more or less until I can get in to court for modification.  That is why I am mostly interested in what has actually transpired in front of a judge - not opinions on what MIGHT happen.  

    I do have an appointment with my attorney next week, I was just hoping to get some additional info here - especially from other attorneys.  I'm sure that most on here post when they are hungry for immediate information and low on patience.  :)


  • Fri, Jul 9 2010 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Late for Visitation

    I can only tell you that I must give 72 hours notice (no matter what), even for my court ordered visitation.

    Is that not in your divorce decree?

    and I guarantee you, my ex can't wait to cancel a visitation based on even 1 second less than that.


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