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 Diary
- Two Pens
- Twenty Dollar Bill
- Stress ball
- A copy of your possession order or parenting plan
- Camera Phone
- 7:00 am: Put my Visitation Kit minus the phone into the glovebox.
- 7:30 am: Go to work
- 4:45 pm: Start shutting down my workspace
- 5:00 pm: Check fuel gauge. Top off if the fuel level is below a half tank, then drive home.
- 5:20 pm: Change clothes and relax.
- 5:40 pm: Drive to exchange location.
- 5:55 pm: Arrive. Write arrival time in Visitation diary.
- 6:00 pm: Take a selfie and write down the pickup time.
- Leave with the children.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- If there is not a good reason, agree if you want to with makeup time specified in the agreement.
- If the other parent refuses to specify makeup visitation, do not agree in either case unless you don’t want makeup time.
- 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?