What should you do when your ex doesn’t show up for visitation?

Sharing custody is a challenge even for parents who make their kids the top priority in their divorce. While the Colorado family courts do try to center the children’s needs when dividing parenting time, the plan that results may not work for the family.

For example, your ex may have asked for 50/50 custody but now consistently fails to show up for the kids. What can you do about a parent who doesn’t fulfill their responsibilities by taking the kids during their scheduled time?

Support the kids and offer make-up time

When someone cancels at the last minute, it can be very inconvenient for you, but you don’t want the children to think of themselves as a burden. Try to stay positive about the cancellation and give your kids the emotional support they may need to cope with the rejection of your ex not coming for them.

If your ex asks for it, agreeing to make-up parenting time can help take some of the sting out of the situation.

Document the issue if it becomes a habit

One or two canceled visits may be frustrating and inconvenient, but they won’t cause major harm for you or the children. The consistent failure of your ex to show up could cause career difficulties for you and psychological damage for the children.

The more frequently your ex cancels or reduces their parenting time, the more important it becomes to keep written records of those failures. You may eventually need to go back to court to ask for a post-decree custody modification. A judge can look at your circumstances and reduce your ex’s parenting time to better reflect when they actually show up for the kids.

Understanding when it may be time to seek a custody modification and handling the challenges of shared custody can be difficult. Experienced legal guidance can help you through.