What to do when holiday parenting time issues arise

The decorations look wonderful, and the table is set. Your guests are coming in and everything is prepared for a festive Christmas celebration. However, the children haven’t arrived yet. Even more annoying (or troubling depending on your circumstances) your ex is not answering their cell phone.

Missed parenting time during the holiday season is an unfortunate, yet common occurrence. With heavy traffic or weather problems (for those flying in from snowy cities) children can be understandably delayed, but when a parent openly defies a court order that provides for parenting time, what can you do?

The natural inclination is to call the police. After all, law enforcement agencies can enforce court orders since they are legally binding documents that give the police the authority to act. But if a parent is deprived of parenting time, compensatory time is the common reward.

Compensatory time can be given through a contempt motion or through mutual agreement between the parties. Either way, it allows a parent to have the time that they should have had under the current custody decree.

The good news is that judges are generally inclined to grant compensatory time when another parent violates a custody or parenting time order. The bad news is that you can’t have back the time you were originally promised and you may have to wait until you have a court date in order to be made whole.

We hope that our readers enjoy a wonderful holiday season and do not have any difficulties with exchanges or problems with parenting time. 

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