SHARED CUSTODY AND ACCESS CHALLENGES
It’s 8:57pm. You’re sitting by the door willing it to open. Waiting for your children to come crashing in and raid the fridge and leave their shoes and bags in a heap at the door.
You’ve been waiting since 1 pm actually. That’s when your spouse was supposed to bring the children back from their time with your ex. But the minutes and hours tick by. You’ve called. Left messages. Still, nothing.
What can you do?
There are two scenarios that we see at Elm Law in Custody battles:
The first, and most frightening, is that you’re terrified your spouse is a flight risk and will take your child to a different jurisdiction where you can’t get them back. In this case, it’s critical to see a lawyer right away. The court will require specific documents to build a case to show why you believe this to be true. You need to display that your spouse has shown that they have intent to do this.
If you are able to do this you may be able to ground them from travel and not let them leave the country or perhaps not even leave the jurisdiction you live in.
What’s very important is that you work through with a lawyer what your concerns are and why you think this may be happening so the lawyer can make a determination as to whether or not a judge will consider your case. If this is a concern for you, a lawyer can build in protections to your separation agreement or court order to greatly reduce the risk.
The second scenario is not as dramatic but can be very annoying and infuriating. It’s when your spouse does not respect your schedule and does not return the children at an agreed upon time.
Compared to the first scenario it can sound trivial but it’s really not, especially when you have plans. It may make you late for work. We see missed visits with grandparents as a repercussion of this. Missed school plays or sports events. The emotional stakes can be higher than your ex may appreciate.
This is why it’s critical that these elements are detailed in a separation agreement. All parties need to be held accountable to what time a child is getting picked up and what time the child is being dropped off.
You also need to consider finer details like, who has the health cards? Who has the hockey equipment and will have it ready for next practice?
Save yourself the time and the stress. Get it in writing and use your lawyer as a resource to anticipate the challenges that frequently come up in a shared access scenario.
Have more questions about shared parenting and custody?
Why not go with the firm that’s won 93% of our cases in court from 2016 to present?
Contact Elm Law to discuss your unique needs: