It is often difficult when one parent is not involved or flaky when it comes to their parenting time. That is true not only because it may result in having to make last-minute childcare arrangements but also because of the continual disappointment of your children when a parent doesn’t show up.
Cannot force someone to parent
Neither you nor the court can compel someone to be a better parent when they do not want to be. If you are trying to force the other parent to become more involved, you might want to consider whether it is really in the best interest of the children to be with a parent who has been forced to spend time with them.
Go back to court
An option you have if a parent is not showing up is to go back to court. If a parent is not exercising the parenting time they have, it might be in the best interest of the children to reduce it to the time they are actually using.
Modify the parenting schedule
You can ask for the parenting schedule to be changed if work or other conflicts are causing an otherwise involved parent to frequently cancel or reschedule their parenting time. Parents can request a modification that allows both parents to have quality time based on a schedule that works for them and the children.
A parenting schedule that revolves around when a parent is available can provide consistency for the children. However, it still requires the inconsistent parent to communicate their schedule and be present for their parenting time.
The court can order that you receive compensation for reasonable expenses you have incurred as a result of the other parent failing to exercise their parenting time. These expenses may include, paying for a last-minute babysitter and additional childcare. You might also be entitled to attorney’s fees.
Additionally, you might want to request the court modify child support if the other parent is routinely not utilizing their parenting time.
An experienced attorney can provide you with your legal options for dealing with an inconsistent parent both in and out of court.