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When parents do not exercise their visitation rights

On Behalf of | Jan 14, 2015 | Child Custody

Nothing can be more frustrating to an Arizona custodial parent than when the other parent doesn’t show up to pick up their child for his or her scheduled visitation. The custodial parent may have to scramble to find child care and the child may be upset, feeling rejected. Parents may wonder if there is anything they can do about this failure to exercise parenting time.

As child custody and parenting time orders are legally binding ones, custodial parents can notify the court about the other parent’s violating the order by not showing up. The custodial parent can file a motion to modify child custody and parenting time. The judge may penalize the noncustodial parent for failing to exercise the parenting time in several ways. The parent may be ordered to pay the expenses of child care needed for the time he or she should have had the child. A fine may be assessed and child support might be increased.

Although these are all possibilities, filing such motions can backfire if the child does not understand why. The child may believe by filing the motion, the custodial parent is seeking to prevent him or her from seeing the other parent. Care should thus be taken when choosing to file such motions.

Parents might be able to speak with the noncustodial parent about their concerns and try to encourage them to exercise their visitation as scheduled. Custodial parents may want to meet with a family law attorney to discuss the options they have. An attorney may be able to assist in negotiating with the other parent. If that does not work, the attorney can determine what remedies should be requested.

Source: FindLaw, “Parental Visitation Rights FAQ”, accessed on Jan. 13, 2015