With the Independence Day holiday coming soon, you may be planning to take advantage of the long weekend and spend quality family time together with your son or daughter. If you are a divorced or separated parent, this may not come to pass; either because your alternating weekend schedule does not coincide with the holiday, or your alternating holiday schedule gives you Memorial Day and Labor Day instead of the Fourth of July.

However, if you are supposed to have parenting time and you are denied such time, it can certainly be upsetting. Indeed, you don’t want to sit idly by, but there are a couple of things an aggrieved parent should do before taking action. 

Calm down –Missing parenting time can be especially trying, and often is a result of the other parent just being mean and vindictive. However, hard feelings can backfire if you act on them. Instead, calm down and discuss your options with your lawyer.

Understand compensatory parenting time – Most missed parenting time is remedied by awarding compensatory parenting time (or make-up parenting time). Basically, the court will issue an order giving you additional parenting time in the future to compensate for the time you were deprived of.  Indeed, it may not be the same as having time on Independence Day, but most kids don’t worry about what day of the week (or year) they spend with you. They just want to be there.

If you have additional questions about missed parenting time or other post-decree violations, an experienced family law attorney can help.