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Sample Visitation Procedure

This is just an example and may not be right or your specific case. See also, What do I do when I go to pick up my child and my child isn’t there?

Visitation Kit

  1. Visitation Diary
  2. Two Pens
  3. Twenty Dollar Bill
  4. Stress ball
  5. A copy of your possession order or parenting plan
  6. Camera Phone

Visitation Procedure

  1. 7:00 am: Put my Visitation Kit minus the phone into the glovebox.
  2. 7:30 am: Go to work
  3. 4:45 pm: Start shutting down my workspace
  4. 5:00 pm: Check fuel gauge. Top off if the fuel level is below a half tank, then drive home.
  5. 5:20 pm: Change clothes and relax.
  6. 5:40 pm: Drive to exchange location.
  7. 5:55 pm: Arrive. Write arrival time in Visitation diary.
  8. 6:00 pm: Take a selfie and write down the pickup time.
  9. Leave with the children.
  10. If unable to leave with the children at 6:00 pm, perform the Unexpected Missed Visitation Checklist.

Unexpected Missed Visitation Checklist

  • 6:00 pm: Don’t get emotional.
  • 6:00 pm: Take a selfie without the children.
  • 6:05 pm: Begin reviewing the order. Check common sources of confusion:
    • Is school in session for the district?
    • Is it a child’s birthday?
    • Is it Mother’s Day or Father’s Day?
    • Look for “notwithstanding any other provisions of this order” language
  • 6:15 pm: Begin trying to solve your problem using the BIFF Response┬« method:
    • Text: “It’s 6:15 pm. I’m here waiting for the children; are they ok?”
    • Call the other parent.
    • Call a friend or relative of the other parent to find out if they are ok.
  • 6:20 pm: Get into the car.
  • Take another selfie.
  • Write the time and what you did to try and solve the problem in your visitation diary.
  • Leave.
  • 12:00 pm: Following day. Notify the other parent. “I attempted to pick up the children yesterday at 6:00 p.m. I waited until 6:15 pm and then tried to contact you and your family to find out what was wrong. I left at 6:20 pm without the children. I will reach out to you to arrange makeup visitation at a later date.”

Expected Missed Visitation Procedure

  1. If there is a good reason, such as a child is sick, agree in writing to skip visitation with makeup time specified in the agreement.
  2. If there is not a good reason, agree if you want to with makeup time specified in the agreement.
  3. If the other parent refuses to specify makeup visitation, do not agree in either case unless you don’t want makeup time.
  4. If there is no agreement to miss visitation, follow the regular Visitation Procedure and Unexpected MIssed Visitation Checklist.

See also, What do I do when I go to pick up my child and my child isn’t there?