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Attorneys James R. “JR” Clary, Jr., Christopher S. Suba, Casey D. Neale and Briton J. Myer

Should I agree to swap custody days with my co-parent?

On Behalf of | Feb 19, 2019 | Family Law

We understand. Life happens while you’re busy making plans. There are always times when it’s easier to plead with your co-parent to swap visitation or custody time in order to accommodate scheduling conflicts.

But is this a good thing or an unnecessary burden? For most co-parents, it depends on whether the requests to swap time is reciprocal and frequent. For instance, if one co-parent is often stuck working on a weekend when the kids were scheduled, is the missed time rescheduled or just pushed to the back burner and never made up?

The latter could indicate a lack of commitment to the parenting plan and perhaps even to parenting in general. Although it may not seem fair to demand that the parent choose between their job and their kids, presumably this was an agreement that was sought by the parents at the time of the divorce. As such, it does not deserve to be given short shrift every time a conflict arises.

It can be problematic to insist on frequent custody scheduling deviations because it leaves the other co-parent and often the kids in a void where they may be unsure of the continuity of the parenting agreement. Will Dad really show up on time to exercise visitation or will Mom have to bring the kids back home for an unscheduled weekend? It creates a state of flux when the goal should be status quo security.

With that being said, there is nothing wrong with an occasional tweak to the parenting plan to accommodate a true emergency as opposed to a lack of foresight on the part of your co-parent.

If the problem persists and there is no resolution in sight, it might be time to revisit the issue in the East Baton Rouge Parish family law court by requesting a custody modification.