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What happens when non-custodial parent doesn't show up for visits?

Everett, WA |

The father of my son has now missed another visit with our son. He told me two weeks ago that he couldnt visit because he started a new job but as it turns out he hasn't even started it yet. Tonight I went to our exchange spot and he wasn't there. I emailed him yesterday about the visit and hadn't heard back so I texted him on my way to the exchange spot and he never showed up. I waited for an hour. We only have a temporary plan in place and the GAL recommended him to have every other weekend but after he "started" his new job she said she was changing it to his days off. What do I do if he is going to show no interest in our child unless it's a good enough time for him? And is it contempt for him not to visit?

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Attorney answers 1


Each of you has an obligation to follow the plan, even if it is temporary. Keeping a written calendar of when the visits are supposed to happen, and whether or not they happened, is a good basis for you to ask the court to find him in contempt for failing to follow the plan. If the plan is completely impossible for him to follow, the court won't sanction him, but if he simply cannot be bothered that is different.

Kids need both their parents. Kids need their parents not to be embroiled in litigation to the point where it interferes with the parent's ability to be parents to their children. Sometimes it is a wake-up call to the non-compliant parent to understand that the court made the parenting plan order for a reason and expects it to be followed.

Also, you can email/call the GAL and advise them of what is happening, so they can adjust their recommendations accordingly. Hope this helps. Elizabeth Powell

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