For parents, ending a marriage can be an overwhelming experience. Not only must they divide the financial strength of one household into two, but they worry about how the new living arrangements will impact the child and the child’s relationship with both parents.
During the divorce process, one crucial bit of negotiation centers on the parenting plan. In it, the parents determine various factors such as the holiday schedule and how the parents communicate about punishments. Critical elements of the parenting plan center on the child custody exchange. Parents can develop provisions for where the exchange occurs, what time it happens and on what days of the week. When one parent fails to hold up his or her end of the obligation, however, it can be frustrating for all parties.
Late is bad, but how bad is it?
It is not uncommon for both parents to work while maintaining grueling personal schedules. In these situations, children are entries in a calendar schedule that must be followed for the benefit of all parties. When one parent is consistently late, it can begin to influence the child. Young children, for example, might already worry that the new living arrangements are somehow related to them. Their fault. Combining this stress with a parent who seemingly has shifted priorities away from the child could have a serious impact.
In some extreme scenarios, the tardy parent might be sabotaging the on-time parent. This can be in response to other situations, simply to enrage the other parent or to cause the other parent to be late for a subsequent meeting. These reactions will become readily apparent through thorough record-keeping.
It is wise for a parent to start keeping notes regarding how often and how late the other parent is to the custody exchanges. Simply leaving it up to memory can be a dangerous source of irritation. If the other parent is showing up consistently late, and this can be shown through the data, it is wise to involve a legal professional. Too often, parents attempt to work through disputes verbally but there is no accountability and no way to hold each other responsible for failing to follow the parenting plan. With a lawyer involved, the compromise is now enforceable.