We work hard during the divorce process to help our clients craft sustainable, favorable custody agreements. Usually, everybody understands that we are all working towards the best interest of the children.
Sometimes, the cooperation does not last as long as it should. Here are some of the ways your co-parent might attempt to circumvent your agreement, along with some options you might have in those situations.
1. Asking to change plans
One common post-divorce disagreement we encounter is when one parent wants to change a major aspect of the parenting plan. For example, your spouse might decide that this year, she would rather have the kids over for the holidays.
It is sometimes acceptable to change plans, but you worked hard on your agreement — and put it in writing — for a reason. It was all to give your children a stable, predictable, healthy life. Try to remind your spouse of that.
2. Being absent or late for parenting time
Another frustration we often hear is when co-parents are excessively late or simply do not show up for scheduled parenting time. We often find that scheduling things early — 30 minutes before the real deadline, for example — helps people manage a consistently tardy ex. While there is no solution for total disinterest, the law could help by imposing consequences for your absent co-parent.
3. Ignoring school or extracurriculars
Perhaps the most frustrating challenge parents face post-divorce is when one side breaks from the agreement in subtle ways, especially in supporting education. Being late to — or calling out of — parent-teacher conferences is one example. Missing events, such as band concerts, dance recitals or sports games, is another.
We find that the best solution is usually to work everything out beforehand, during the divorce. That way, there is less likelihood that either party abandons the agreement — and the potential for enforcement, as well.