What to do if my work schedule has changed and I can’t pick up my kids at the current court appointed time?

UPDATED: Jan 15, 2013

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What to do if my work schedule has changed and I can’t pick up my kids at the current court appointed time?

My visitation is Thursday from dismissal of school until return to school Monday. I have asked to pick them up on Friday evening until a modified order is in place. She has refused and says that if I can’t pick them up on Thursday I have to forfeit my entire weekend. Is this true? My mediation date is not until March and I won’t be able to see my kids until then. Can she do this?

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Family Law, Illinois


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Most court orders set out standardized visitations that guarantee the non-possessory conservator set times of visitations... but they also include language to the effect-- "at any other time mutually agreed upon".  She could agree to work with you and just let you pick the kids up later-- but she is not required to do so.  If you are not there at the time designated in the order, then she does not have to wait around for you to arrive.

However, you are not completely without options.  Most custody orders do not prohibit the non-possessory parent from designating someone else to pick-up the children.  The easiest fix would be for you to either arrange or pay for someone competent to pick the children up and care for them until you can get off work.  It can be a relative or a good friend.  There may be some inexpensive "nanny services" or baby-sitting services in your area as well.  If this is simply not an option, ask the court to either change the date of the mediation or to impose some temporary orders during the pendency of the mediation so that you can still have access to your children.  This route is a little harder, but it's still a possibility depending on the willingness of your judge. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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