Tardiness is a violation of your visitation agreement

You check your watch and feel worried. Time passes, and you grow more and more apprehensive and agitated. Finally, well after the agreed upon time, your ex arrives with your children in tow. And this is not the exception; this is the rule. Every week your ex picks up the children in accordance with visitation terms of your custody and every week, the children are returned late.

On one hand, such tardiness can be an annoyance and should not happen. But if you suspect that your ex is thinking about absconding with your children, the time you are left waiting can seem interminable. After all, when should you start to really worry? At what point do you inform the authorities that you believe your children have been taken illegally?

If you are asking yourself these frightening and aggravating questions week after week, there are steps you can take to correct the situation. First, you should confront your ex about the issue. It may be that he or she is totally unaware that you are concerned or they may figure that if you don't say anything they can get away with being late.

If things do not improve after your discussion, keep in mind that your ex is legally bound to adhere to the court-mandated schedule and visitation terms. So if you are truly concerned, you may wish to confer with an experienced family attorney. The attorney could work on your behalf to help ensure that the conditions of your custody agreement are honored. And if your ex should take the children in violation of the agreement, the attorney could help you file a civil suit that may include suing for damages.

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Amy L. Beauchaine, Attorney at Law
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