Use “comp time” to make up for missed visitation and parenting time

Posted May 25th, 2016.

Categories: Custody Tips, Family Law.

parenting time mark s guralnick

You’ve heard of “comp time” at work, but there’s also comp time in your child custody case. Comp time refers to compensatory time, or make-up time, with the children. You are entitled to comp time with the children if you’ve been denied time by the other parent.

For example, let’s say that you’re the non-custodial parent. The court order provides that you can have visitation (parenting time) with the kids every other Friday to Sunday. Your ex, who is the custodial parent, always conjures up excuses why the children cannot spend time with you. “Bobby is sick this weekend.” “It’s Suzy’s recital this weekend.” “They have to see the dentist, and this the only appointment I could get for them.” Instead of filing a motion for contempt against your uncooperative ex-spouse, file a motion for comp time. Ask the court to award you every weekend for six weeks straight to make up for lost time.

The right to comp time works for custodial parents too. Let’s say the non-custodial parent has a habit of holding over the children beyond their scheduled visits. He’s habitually late in returning the kids to you, and he’s always messing up your scheduled. You, too, can apply to the court for comp time to adjust the time-sharing arrangement.

Not every state recognizes comp time, and not every judge will hand it out. You shouldn’t request comp time for minor violations of custody and parenting time schedules. But when the other parent is clearly abusing the situation and violating the court order, don’t forget to ask for comp time. Besides restoring balance to the time-sharing schedule, comp time sends a strong message to the disobedient parent and will have a deterrent effect on future violations.

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