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What if a parent misses a designated child visitation time?

North Carolina parents live busy lives, and sometimes it's hard to juggle schedules and -- for non-custodial parents -- this might cause them to miss a designated child visitation time. However, other times, missing an appointment with one's children is the result of a parent's irresponsibility and/or lack of interest in his or her children. In these cases, the North Carolina custodial parent will be faced with the following dilemma: Should parents take legal action to initiate a consequence to the non-custodial parent if he or she constantly misses designated child visitation appointments?

By and large, the answer to this question is no. Child psychologists and North Carolina courts recognize how important it is for children to know and spend time with both of their parents. Indeed, when a parent takes action to limit the other parent's time with children due to failing to show up, the children will rarely understand. What may result is the children feeling even less love from their continually absent parent than they did before.

As such, most family law attorneys in North Carolina and other parts of the country will argue that -- rather than shunning the absent parent from the children's lives more than he or she already is -- a better goal is to try and bring the absent parent back into the children's lives. This goal, if successful, is a better way to support the best interests of the children and prevent them from feeling unloved or unwanted.

North Carolina non-custodial parents who are afraid they may lose their visitation rights after missing their scheduled parenting time appointments may want to discuss their situations with an attorney to prevent the loss of their parenting rights. Meanwhile, custodial parents who want to try and bring the other parent back into their children's lives may also want to talk about their situation with a family law attorney who can help with strategies that could support their children in this regard.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," accessed Nov. 16, 2016