The period immediately following a divorce requires everyone to make adjustments. Formerly married adults must shift from the role of spouse to solely that of parent, while children must adjust to dealing with their parents individually. After living with their children on a full-time basis, a non-custodial parent is forced to get used to adhering to a visitation schedule. Initially, it is not unusual for both parents to feel uncomfortable when children are picked up and dropped off. Fortunately, there are ways to make the process easier for everyone and keeping these tips for parenting time transitions in mind will make things more manageable.
Verify Times and Locations
Even though the child custody agreement will outline parenting time arrangements, it is important to always verify the pickup and drop off locations along with times. During the first few visitations, one or both parties will forget when the children need to be picked up or when to be available for the children’s return home. Talking about parenting time arrangements will help to avoid some confusion that can breed hard feelings.
Keep Transitions Between Parents
Unless an emergency occurs, both parents should make sure they are the person available to get or receive the children for visits. Sending a friend or relative to pick up children or having a third-party waiting for the children’s return home can cause hard feelings. In some situations, the parenting time agreement will specify that only the parents can exchange the children during visitations. Involving another a person could be seen as a violation of the agreement, and it is important that the children have transition consistency. If there are no stipulations regarding who gets the children, it is still a good idea to wait until everyone is comfortable with the arrangement to involve other people.
Make Sure the Children Have What They Need
Making sure the children have what they need helps ensure the parenting time goes smoothly and avoids unnecessary arguments between parents. Create a checklist to use during the first few visits to ensure clothing, medication, toiletries, and other essentials are packed. If you are the non-custodial parent, always check the children’s bags to make sure all items you were given are returned to their home. Also plan to keep spare clothing and other essentials at your home in the event the custodial parent forgets to pack something. Initially, items will always be forgotten, so try not to blame the other parent for omissions.
When to Talk to a Lawyer
There are times when no matter how hard you work, the parenting time transitions do not go smoothly. When the other parent is not adhering to the parenting time schedule that was agreed upon in the custody agreement, it is important that the affected parent exercise his or her rights. Discussing your situation with a qualified child custody attorney is the best way to explore possible remedies. The skilled attorneys at Vayman & Teitlebaum are available to provide you with the help you need. With four offices located throughout the Atlanta Metro area, we are able to provide you with the assistance you need to resolve visitation issues. Contact us today at 678-736-7700 to discuss your situation and schedule a consultation.