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What is the recourse if the visitation schedule cannot be followed due to work or personal exigencies / travel?

Santa Clara, CA |

Custodial Parent is not willing to accommodate even minor changes to the visitation schedule, like one weekend instead of the other. NCP needs to work late hours sometimes or attend classes / volunteering activities in the evenings or weekends. Traveling out of state for a few weeks is also a possibility. In all such instances, which coincide with the visitation schedule, children, who are still infants cannot be cared for by the NCP. Custodial Parent knows the difficulties and is exploiting the situation by not willing to adjust the schedule. What alternatives does the NCP have in such cases? To add to the difficulties, the CP, being a joint legal custodian, does not agree to the daycare that NCP may choose to leave the children in such cases nor will she suggest an alternative.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If this was a custody schedule worked out in mediation, look for a paragraph that says that the parents will be flexible regarding the schedule.

If this is not a mediated agreement, then there is most likely an order for you to attend Orientation and Mediation. See that it happens ASAP, as that is your best opportunity to address issues like these.

Flexibility is key when it comes to co-parenting. The CP needs to learn that. It's rather karmic, in that "what goes around, comes around." The CP will want so flexibility in the future, too.

As for daycare, that usually should be a joint decision, but if you are talking about making arrangements for babysitting for a few hours when you are busy and CP won't work with you, then I think you may have the right to choose them.

Legal disclaimer: The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.


I agree with David Yomtov. While the court will encourage both parents be flexible as reasonably possible on one hand, on the other hand the court wants the children to have as fixed a schedule as much as possible for their benefit. Also, if you have too many activities which totally cause for a new or different plan on a regular and frequent basis, it’s unfair to the children. It’s also unfair to your ex because he or she has to juggle their schedule and their free time around your activities. In regard to the amount of flexibility you desire, I don’t think your prospects are incredibly good.

I hope this was helpful.

John N. Kitta

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This is a question with many layers. While flexibility may be built into your order, how many changes are you asking the CP to make? I sympathize with you and your busy schedule, but a court is going to want to see stability and consistency for the child. Obviously these are young children, infants according to your statement. I don't know what the CP's circumstances are -- does she work? Also, is there an order for you to go back to mediation?
I suggest that you consult a family lawyer immediately so that you can discuss this matter and map out a strategy in this case. You want the CP to be flexible, but if she's working, it will be difficult. If she's not working and she's just being difficult, that's another story. Still, the courts don't like to see a lot of change in routine although if you both have agreed to be flexible, then the CP should be flexible. Discuss this with a family lawyer and give them all of the facts, not just the ones present here.
Also, regarding the daycare, it's still difficult to answer that question because I don't know how long the child is there and I don't know what her objection to the daycare is. Discuss this with your lawyer also. He or she will be able to guide you and give you advice regarding what action to pursue. Best of luck to you! I understand the frustration here. I hope you can work something out which will permit your varied schedule to be taken into consideration while not disrupting the child's daily routine too much.

Tina Tran, Esq. is licensed to practice law in the State of California. Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship with Tina Tran, Esq. To schedule a consultation, please call (925) 357-0431. Thank you.

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