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Can my visitation or legal custody be negatively impacted by 1 missed visit for business purposes?

Q: I have a custody settlement agreement which was entered as court order (White Plains Family) almost a year ago. The mother has physical custody; we share legal custody. In nearly 2 years since I have never missed (or even been late) for a scheduled visitation.

I have an unexpected required business trip that means I would miss a regularly scheduled overnight. I gave the mother five days notice in advance. Typically, I pick up and drop off from preschool. On other days our child is bussed for pick up and drop off from mothers home to/from preschool. He is in a special ed program and Westchester county provides CPSE services including bussing.

The mother has informed me that neither she nor the nanny will be home when our child is dropped off from school on the regularly scheduled day and that if I don’t pick him up, she will pursue revocation of my visitation and shared legal custody as well as report me to CPS as having abandoned our child.

If no one is at the mother’s home when the bus drops off from school in the afternoon, is the mother responsible as the physical custodian or am I responsible because this was a regularly scheduled visitation?

A: Someone should certainly be home – if the mother cannot provide for childcare (which you would be assessed with), then you’d need to provide for childcare. Thus, if the mother is refusing (for whatever reason – which you should document) to arrange for care, then hire a babysitter. But keep this in mind – and cite it – if/when she wants to change the schedule. Call a White Plains Child Custody attorney to schedule a consult for a full assessment.

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