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What do you do if your ex is constantly late exchanging the children?

visitation attorney, visitation lawyer, father lawyer, father attorney, fathers lawyer, fathers attorneyVirginia Cornwell is a Franklin County Visitation Lawyer, Family Law Attorney, and an Ohio State Bar Association Family Relations Specialist.  

Is your ex late to exchange the children most of the time?  If so, the important questions are 1) How late are they?  2) How late does your court papers allow them to be? and 3) What are you going to do about it?

First, what does your court order say about how late they can be before your ex loses their parenting time?  The specific terms of your order always trump contradictory language in the local rule.

In Ohio, each county has a local visitation schedule, sometimes several local visitation schedules (one for juvenile court, one for domestic court, and in at least one county, one for each magistrate).  Most of the time, at least part of this local rule is incorporated into your court order.  So the first step would be to read your court orders and see if the court order incorporated the local rule.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

mother lawyer, mother's lawyer, custody lawyer, child custody lawyer, lawyer visitation,If the answer is yes, then you must look to see if ALL of the local rule is incorporated into your court order, or just part of it.  Most local rules contain a provision, at least in the section for parents who are NOT long distance parents, about how long you have to wait for you ex to show up before they lose their parenting time.  Has that provision been made part of your court order?

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

post decree lawyer, post-decree lawyer, change custody lawyer, change visitation lawyer, post-decree attorney, post-decree attorneysIn some contentious cases, one of the parents will abuse the “waiting period” and use it to make their ex wait, to create annoyance, or to take extra parenting time that they are not entitled to.  If this becomes a pattern, keep track of all the time you had to wait so that you can show it to the court.  The court has many remedies they can offer.  They can take away the wait period entirely if they think it has been abused.  They can make the other parent give make up time.  They can find the other parent in contempt of court, fine them, sentence them to jail time (subject to purging their contempt), and make them pay reasonable attorney fees and expenses.  If they find that one parent has continuously and willfully denied the other parent their parenting time by abusing this wait period, it is a factor the court can consider when deciding whether to terminate shared parenting or adjust parenting time.  The court can also adjust transportation responsibilities.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

If you have no provision at all regarding how long you have to wait before your ex loses their parenting time, and they are constantly late for pick-ups and drop-offs, maybe it is time for you to look at going back to court to get some additional language added to your orders to address some of the bad behavior that is going on.  If you have no court orders at all, and your former agreements are no longer working, despite your best efforts to work it out with your ex, then maybe you need a court order and not an agreement regarding when your child will be exchanged with the other parent.

CALL NOW  at (614) 225-9316

father lawyer, father lawyers, father attorney, father attorneys, father's attorney, father's lawyer, lawyer for fathers, dads lawyerNeed help understanding your parenting order or obtaining a parenting order from the court? We would be happy to schedule a consultation with you.  Please give us a call, and one of our Family Law Attorneys will meet with you to discuss your case.

DISCLAIMER – Read it, it’s important!


  1. B says

    Great advice for those dealing with the highly complex (and highly stressful) adaptation period of shared custody. Thanks for sharing.

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