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What can I do if the other parent doesn’t return my child back to me on time?

child-waitingLet’s say that you share parenting time with the other parent of your child.  It can be that you split this time 50/50 or it can be that one parent has primary physical custody and the other parent has a set schedule for their parenting time.  Either way, you both have your designated times that you get to spend with your child.  So what happens if the other parent doesn’t adhere to the schedule and you’re left waiting?

The answer depends on the severity of the lateness.  If we’re talking about being a half hour late or even a few hours late then it would depend how often this happens.  If it always happens and you’re always left waiting for the other parent to be on time, you might consider altering your parenting schedules to either make sure the other parent can make it on time, or in the final alternative, have some sort of system set up where if either parent is late, then after 15 mins, you can leave.  There are a lot of rewards and punishment system that courts and family law attorneys have set up over time to encourage late parents to try to be on time.  The last alternative is to go to court to reduce parenting time altogether.

If the lateness is not simply a matter of half an hour to an hour, but you’re actually worried that the other parent might NEVER return the child, then it is time to take actions to protect your child.  If a non-custodial parent doesn’t return a child back to the primary parent, it is considered kidnapping.  If you have an attorney, you should contact your attorney.  If the attorney is unavailable, then you need to make a judgment call and perhaps call the police to report a kidnapping.  Police departments all across the state and country now have integrated Amber Alert systems in place to help track down children across state lines.  If you truly believe that this is what has happened, then calling the police is the best course of action.

Speak with an attorney if you have issues with your parenting schedule or time.  Call us for a free phone consultation.