One thing that people hear time and time again is that they should be somewhat flexible with a child custody plan. While having a plan that states specific times for drop-offs or pick-ups, holiday schedules and other information is important, the reality of the matter is that life can be unpredictable.
Dad or mom might have to cover a shift for a coworker suddenly. Their child may have to stay later at school than expected. A surprise visit from family might make your child want to stay at one home or the other longer than expected.
Most people are willing to be flexible, but the question is how flexible is too flexible? Is there a point when you should be stricter and have your custody rights enforced?
How flexible should you be with your custody plan?
Every family and divorced couple will have a different situation, so part of how you handle changes in your custody arrangements will depend on that. For example, if you share custody 50/50, then allowing your child to stay at the other parent’s house two days out of the month might not be as big of a deal as it would be for a parent who only has eight days to see them each month.
Flexibility should be reasonable. If something important comes up and there is a reasonable amount of time to consider a request for a change in custody, then it’s worth considering it. That being said, one parent should not be monopolizing the other’s time. If one continues to try to take more custody time than they’re allotted and is regularly late or asking for schedule changes, then it may be time to get your attorney involved and to sit down to see if a change in your custody schedule is needed.
Your child should come first. They need structure and routine, so if either parent isn’t able to provide that, then it’s worth looking into the cause and seeing if there is a way to adjust your custody schedule to make it better for everyone. If it cannot be changed and they are unable to stick to it, then you can ask to have the order enforced.