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Can I edit a custody contract? If so, can I enforce that the other parent take the kids on their scheduled days?

Roseville, CA |

I am having a problem with the father of my children cancelling his scheduled custody days at the last minute. Our custody contract says that he may have the children 2 overnights a week on days that are agreed upon 24 hours in advance. He will ask for a day, I agree and then an hour before pickup time he will say nevermind. It is really hard on the kids to think they are going to spend the night with him and then while we are waiting for him to come he calls to cancel. I would like to find a way to adjust the contract so that this can stop happening.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

You can file a request for orders to modify this term. Or, since this has to be by agreement you can tell him that you cannot agree since he has failed to keep this additional time.

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4 comments

Asker

Posted

Am I allowed to not agree even if the order says he gets them 2 nights a week?

Abelardo Fernandez

Abelardo Fernandez

Posted

You stated that the order was that he could have this additional time when agreed. So, that means if there is no agreement he does not get it. I think you might have peace of mind if you just go to court and ask that this term be removed since he does not use it. Again, you can tell him you no longer agree because he breaks his promise and let him file to take you to court or you can be proactive and take him to court to have this time removed.

Asker

Posted

I'm sorry, i did not men to imply this was additional time. The 2 "overnights" a week are what is required of me to give him, and then he cancels them last minute. Is there a way to stop him from being able to cancel? Can that be put in the order?

Abelardo Fernandez

Abelardo Fernandez

Posted

The court cannot force him to take this time, so you cannot require that he not cancel. However, the court could take time away altogether if he fails to keep it.

Posted

Is this a contract or an actual court order? If it is an order, you can file a request to modify the order. You should request an actual schedule be in place rather than an order which is so vague and easier to back out of. Unfortunately modifying the order does not mean he will not cancel on you still in the future.

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1 comment

Steven Cilenti

Steven Cilenti

Posted

In the Request for Order for modification of the visitation terms also request that if he 'no shows' after 15-20 minutes that visitation is deemed cancelled. This will not solve the issue of the children being disappointed but will give you an opportunity to get on with your day and not wait around for the father. Also, in any visitation order get specificity as to dates and times of visitation. He will want more stated for child support purposes. Most likely like some parents then won't exercise the time yet get the benefit of lower child support. Get an attorney to assist you or consider using a Family Law Facilitator to help with document preparation. Attorney is the best approach.

Posted

I agree with the other two attorneys answers here. I strongly recommend, though, that you at least consult with a lawyer who can look at your documents and give you specific advice based on the history of your case. In the meantime, I suggest that you not tell the children that dad is coming in advance. Reading between the lines, it seems like he wants financial credit for his overnights, but he does not really want to parent the kids. That is a setup for disappointment now and into the future. Do your best to manage your kids' expectations and make it clear as best you can that it is not their fault that dad does not want to spend time with them.

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