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  1. #1
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    Feb 2011
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    Default Court Ordered Visitation , Late Pickup , Early Drop-Off's

    My question involves a child custody case from the State of: Massachusetts

    I have a question im posting for a friend.. the father has visitation every weekend , the court order states he is to pick them up from the mothers house at 4 pm every Friday , and drop them off at 6 pm every Sunday. it was followed to the letter for several months, now it has been he is not showing at 4, and waiting till 10am-12pm on Saturday to show up.. and a few times has said he is gonna drop them back off several hours later, or at 8pm on Saturday Night *edit* also there is very little to no warning that he will not be showing up.. maybe an hour before , to 30 mins after they were supposed to be picked up , she will get a text, as for drop off's he will text her when he is on the way.. maybe 10-15 min notice time.

    The question is , its very disruptive for the children , who do want to see him, but disruptive to the mother as well , she has had to call out of work several times and lost a job due to him not showing up ( on several occasions the father will not pick up/ drop off the children unless the mother is present) So , would she in fact be denying his visitation if she does not give the children to him , once he is "late" (she is fine for allowing up to an hour for a "grace" period) for visitation? She would like to do things on the weekends with the kids , if he is not going to follow the order . Also it's like she has to wait at home and by the phone in case he decides to do whatever he wants and drop them at anytime he feels like it

    Also he does insist on calling the police on every Friday and Sunday , to "document" the exchange, and has gone so far to get there at the appointed time, then wait in the car for 30-40 more minutes until an officer shows up

    any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Somewhere near Canada
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    Default Re: Court Ordered Visitation , Late Pickup , Early Drop-Off's

    Unless it is actually written into her court order that if Dad doesn't turn up by X time he forfeits visitation, she WILL be in contempt.

    She is legally obligated to make the kids available during ALL of Dad's parenting time. She doesn't have to wait by the phone all weekend, and I do understand how frustrating it can be but again she needs to have the kids available.
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    21

    Default Re: Court Ordered Visitation , Late Pickup , Early Drop-Off's

    That makes sense.. and i can pretty much agree with it.. i think the difficult part is the early drop-off's with no warning.. does either party have any legal ground to stand on.. i know it happened last week , and she received several calls from the police officer that he brought with him to document the exchange .. but was powerless to get back home in a timely manner ( she had made plans and was a couple hours away , without her vehicle) so in a sense , if he is going to keep this up, she is essentially stuck to the house all weekend.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Minneapolis/St. Paul area
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    497

    Default Re: Court Ordered Visitation , Late Pickup , Early Drop-Off's

    Quote Quoting Dogmatique
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    Unless it is actually written into her court order that if Dad doesn't turn up by X time he forfeits visitation, she WILL be in contempt.

    She is legally obligated to make the kids available during ALL of Dad's parenting time. She doesn't have to wait by the phone all weekend, and I do understand how frustrating it can be but again she needs to have the kids available.
    Dog, I think we've discussed this in another thread, but it bears repeating: The advice I received from my lawyers is that if exchange times are stated in the prenting plan, and a parent is late, then beyond a resonable grace period, that period is forfeited.

    OP, because there are two contradictory pieces of advice, and neither of us are attorneys, I strongly recommend that you advise your friend to pose this question to a local attorney.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Court Ordered Visitation , Late Pickup , Early Drop-Off's

    Mom has an obligation to make the kids available - Dad does not have an obligation to actually exercise visitation.

    If Dad picks them up, Mom is free to go wherever the heck she wants...she doesn't have to return home at Dad's whims. What's he going to do - dump the kids at the curb outside Mom's house?

    See what I'm saying?

    She's not going to get into trouble for NOT going home simply because Dad gets fedup on a Saturday evening and wants to drop off the kids early.

    Quote Quoting NdK1009
    View Post
    Dog, I think we've discussed this in another thread, but it bears repeating: The advice I received from my lawyers is that if exchange times are stated in the prenting plan, and a parent is late, then beyond a resonable grace period, that period is forfeited.

    OP, because there are two contradictory pieces of advice, and neither of us are attorneys, I strongly recommend that you advise your friend to pose this question to a local attorney.


    While an attorney is ALWAYS a good suggestion - seriously, I have never, ever seen ANY parenting plan out of MA that says what you've said here....unless forfeiture is specifically addressed.

    So yeah.

    (And now sheer curiosity has me checking to see if it's included per statute - I know there's one state which DOES include such verbiage...maybe there's another!)
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

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