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Children need consistency and stability after a divorce

As Gig Harbor parents may know, children thrive on consistency and stability, especially after a divorce. Unfortunately, there are times when this security is shattered when one parent or the other interferes with the established child custody and visitation schedule.

One example of custody or visitation interference that could negatively affect a child is if one parent is supposed to pick the child up at a specific day or time, but is late or even doesn't come at all. This not only upsets the child, but can be inconvenient to the other parent as well. Is there anything that can be done in this type of situation?

First of all, a conversation with your ex followed by some simple alterations to the schedule may solve the problem. If that doesn't work, however, you can move the court to enforce or modify the existing child custody and visitation schedule. It may help to keep a record of the times your ex failed to follow the existing schedule.

In addition, what happens if your ex is late in bringing the children back after his or her visitation time is over? You may worry that one day he will abscond with them. If he actually does fail to return the children when his visitation period is over, this not only breaks the custody and visitation order, but could also be considered a criminal act.

In the end, it is in everyone's best interests -- both the parents' and the child's -- to adhere to the set child custody and visitation schedule. If this cannot be done, and the parents cannot come to a resolution out-of-court, moving the court to modify the existing child custody and visitation order may be necessary.

Source: FindLaw, "Custody or Visitation Interference," accessed Aug. 9, 2016

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