Recently we have seen an increase in the number of calls to our Divorce Coaching services dealing with one parent removing the children from school for doctor appointments, dental appointments, and other purposes, without the knowledge or consent of the parent having custody.
Questions such as what can be done, can anything be done, how can we stop this from occurring again in the future.
First and foremost if your court orders do not contain language prohibiting both of the parents from scheduling appointments, medical or otherwise during the custodial time of the other parent you need to add specific language to address this issue.
Now don’t rush to court to make this happen. Start creating what we call a “wish list” so that yearly you go to court to take care of problems and issues that are occurring in one single hearing instead of constantly going to court.
This is one way to keep your legal fees to a minimum and stop the merry- go- round of constantly dealing with or responding to court. Because there is so much more to life than constantly dealing with divorce and divorce related issues.
Another step you can take is to go to the school. Meet with the principal and provide them with a copy of the court order. Circle/Highlight the schedule as to when the other parent is to have custody. Put in place protocols that require the school call you prior to the removal of the child/children from school by the other parent, or persons acting on their behalf to ensure that they are not in violation of the court order and there are no approved schedule changes. Because there will be times, when you may change the schedule, and/or allow the other parent access during your custodial time.
Additionally, on days where there is a schedule change, you should contact the school yourself, either by going in to the office, or calling them and advise them of the change and that they are authorized to release the child/children to the other parent that day and that day only.
The school cannot be expected to understand your court order, and block access by the other parent without your assistance. They could face legal action if they error. These protocols will help you and the school work more effectively in stopping the removal of the child/children during your custodial time. And put in place a method by which you and the other parent will have the ability to work with each other when and if the situation becomes more successful.
Additionally, if the other parent regularly removes the children early from school for their custodial time, and other steps have not been successfully, remove the child/children first, earlier in the day. Then bring the children back to school when custody is to be exchanged.
Prior to taking this action, advise the other parent, by email or text message, that the children will not be at school that day, but will be there at the time specified in the court order for the exchange. That this action on your part, removing the child/children will continue until the other parent stops picking up the child/children early from school.
This is a very simplified explanation of just a few of the steps you can take. Obviously you are going to want to minimize the time the child/children miss from school, and you will likely need additional guidance/instructions for your particular circumstances.
Receive help on this issue and more with our Divorce Coaching services only $99.00 for an hour and a half. Billing segments can be as little as five minutes. Make as many calls as you need, texts or emails on any subject as many times during the day or days that you need until your problem is corrected, reduced or you have documented it for court.