We are often asked about illness on your day with a child and other parenting time related questions. Most Child Custody and Parenting Time plans carefully anticipate every possible scenario and provide specific instructions for how to handle the situation. Your parenting plan should also provide a process to resolve any disputes which might arise along the way.
One of the most common questions which arises surrounds the issue of a sick child. It may seem like good judgment to call the other co-parent and tell them a child is sick and will miss scheduled visitation. In other cases, especially blended family scenarios, it might not be in the best interest of all involved for a sick child to come into another household.
Your parenting agreement may provide contingency planning for issues such as illness on your day with a child. A lot depends upon the relationship and trust between the co-parents and the effectiveness of their communications. The parties may agree to keep the child in place on the specific day of illness but swap out another day in the near future to offset the missed time. It is always best to put these agreements in writing.
From a legal perspective, if the co-parents share physical and legal custody they both share full decision making authority. The custodial parent of the sick child owes the other parent a legal duty to keep them fully informed and to consult them throughout the process.
What if the child doesn’t want to go the other parent’s house? This can be quite challenging, especially in the case of teenagers. Here in California, the decision of the child on a specific day is not legally sufficient to deny court-ordered parenting time.
Co-parents with a good working relationship can negotiate many issues which might arise. In other cases it may be necessary to consult with the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. If there are consistent issues of illness on your day with a child or other parenting time questions it may be time to review the existing parenting agreement and seek legal counsel. Mediation is an efficient and timely option for those who might be struggling with parenting time issues.