Father’s Day and Visitation

In Child Custody, Relationships, Separation & Divorce by Sarah Hink

Father’s Day is a special day for fathers and their children. For many dads, it is a day of celebration, relaxation, and gifts they will never use. Unfortunately, like with Mother’s Day, Father’s Day can be a day of high expectations, disappointment, and anger when parents are separated or divorced. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, consider the following advice on approaching this day in a healthy and safe way.

Make Sure Your Parenting Plan Includes Father’s Day

It is fairly standard for parenting plans to account for who gets the children on holidays. If you are the father, I would highly suggest informing your attorney of how important it is for you to have father’s day visitation with the children. If your parenting plan was created and approved without an attorney, there is a chance that father’s day is not accounted for. In this case, speak with an attorney about the possibility of seeking a modification of your plan.

If there is good communication between you and the children’s other parent, be sure that Father’s Day plans are clearly communicated. Harmonious discourse and mutual respect for each other as parents is always best for the children. So even if Father’s Day is not specifically ordered in the parenting plan, healthy co-parents can reach an agreement to allow the visitation.

Follow the Court’s Orders

If you do not have custody it is critical that you follow the court ordered parenting plan. Especially if there is some form of protective order against you. Failure to follow the court’s orders can result in sanctions, including fines and incarceration. In addition, if you are attempting to demonstrate that you are a fit parent or want to modify your parenting plan to have more visitation, violating the court’s order will probably prevent you from getting what you want.

On the other side, if you are the mother of children and the father is allowed Father’s Day in the parenting plan, do not deprive or withhold him of visitation. To do so would violate your agreement or the court’s order and subject you to possible sanctions. In addition, you cannot withhold Father’s Day visitation because he is delinquent on child support payments. North Carolina treats visitation and child support as two entirely separate issues.

Avoid Impulsive Decision Making

As tempting as it is to send a text blast, or to send a nasty message on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter, take a deep breath and put your phone down. Harassment will not help your situation, and in extreme cases can support a protective order against you.

In addition, like with Mother’s Day, law enforcement and North Carolina Child Protective Services sees an increase in domestic disturbance situations and reports on Father’s Day. Witnessing conflict if you try to force visitation is not in the children’s best interest. In addition, violating court orders only shows a judge that you are not making healthy decisions.

Instead, if Father’s Day is not going to happen the way you want, speak with a lawyer beforehand about your options. Then make plans for yourself. Do something you love, like going on a weekend road trip, or spend time with friends, or try a new golf course. Ultimately, you want a good, healthy relationship with your children, and that means making the right decisions on Father’s Day.

Speak with An Attorney

New Direction Family Law has assisted clients with child custody and child support issues for over sixteen years. If you are interested in modifying your custody orders, contact us to set up a consultation. Our team of experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will give you thoughtful, honest advice about your legal options. Call New Direction Family Law today at (919) 719-3470 or visit us at our website.