9.7Susan M. Hais

Transitioning to a co-parenting plan is difficult for everyone involved. However, one of the biggest problems that can present itself during this time is tardiness. Whether it is meaningful or subconscious, being late to a drop off or pick up strain a co-parenting relationship. However, what are ways you can fix a late co-parent?

The first step should be to try to get to the bottom of their tardiness. Not every co-parent showing up late has malicious intent. Instead, it could be due to the pick up or drop off time itself. Consider any contributing factors to the problem, such as:

  • The time of the meeting – If the co-parent gets off work at 5 PM and they are also expected to pick up the kids at 5 PM, it is going to be impossible not to be late.
  • Traffic – You can’t control traffic, but you can guess the time when traffic is going to be at its worst.
  • Unexpected overtime – If they are expected to be on call or work overtime without much notice, it can make co-parenting that much more difficult.

If you craft a co-parenting plan without taking these things into consideration, then you are setting yourself up for failure. In co-parenting, communication is key, and if any circumstances are affecting their ability to show up on time, they need to be addressed.

However, if the other parent is showing malicious signs of being late on purpose, you don’t simply have to sit back and do nothing. You can ask for provisions to be put in your custody agreement where neither parent is required to wait past a certain limit of time at the hand off. If they go past that time limit, they will lose their rights for visitation for that exchange. This can help encourage parents to be on time for their pickup of the children, but it could still affect what time they bring them back.

If you are divorcing and looking to craft a solid co-parenting plan, but need help, contact us today.