Spartansburg, PA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Pennsylvania

Q: Dad had dui class during his scheduled time with son. Am I obligated to let him make up lost time?

His scheduled time is 10-6pm. He won’t be able to get him until 12:30. I know he will ask o’clock or later to make up the time. But I was not aware of this class. And don’t feel I am obligated to. Is there a law about that ?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Kathryn Hilbush

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Media, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: There's a schedule in the order that's meant to be followed. However, I fail to see why you'd make it difficult for him the see your child just because of this class. You will make your own choice on this but I think you should consider agreeing that he can temporarily change his pick-up time to 12:30 and even be gracious by giving him the opportunity to return him later that day. The courts like to see that parents can be flexible, reasonable, and considerate of their children's best interests, which usually include seeing the non-custodial parent. If you have an attorney, you should discuss this with the attorney, however.

Amanda J Iannuzzelli

Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Media, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Legally speaking, are absolutely under no obligation to provide “make-up time” to a parent who has to miss part of their custodial time due to a prior obligation. If you have a custody order issued by the Court, you are only required to relinquish custody of your child for the time specified therein. In fact, you are not even required to provide child care for any time during the other parent’s scheduled custody time that they are unable to physically be with your child, regardless of the reason. Often times, courts will order a “right of first refusal”, which means that if your child’s father is not going to be present during a large amount of his custodial time (typically 3 hours or more at once), rather than immediately put the child in a third parties’ care, you would have first dibs at watching and caring for your child during this time.

If your child’s father’s custody or visitation is only for an 8 hour period of time with no overnight, he should make every effort to not schedule anything else during this time. DUI classes typically give multiple options for scheduling, so most likely he scheduled the class to be during his custody time. This is not your problem. However, with all of that said, you may want to consider providing this makeup custodial time. for your child’s benefit. If your child’s Custody time is already extremely limited with his or her father, you should weigh the pros and cons of allowing this hour and a half to be made up at another time, taking into consideration the inconvenience, if any, that it would place on you. After all, the ultimate standard for child custody is what is “in the best interest of the Child”, and not “what is fair to the parents”!

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