During your divorce, you and your ex will hammer out agreements that detail when you each have the kids. One parent will likely get custody, while the other gets parenting time according to the agreement negotiated through your North York divorce lawyer.

There are two sides to every coin. If you’re the non-custodial parent, and your kids live with your ex most of the time, it’s important to be there for them when you do get to see them. If you’re the custodial parent, and your ex isn’t making the effort he or she should to see your kids during parenting time, it’s important to reach out to your North York divorce lawyer for help.

Being Physically and Emotionally Present

When your kids expect to see you, it’s important that you don’t let them down. Divorce is tough on kids—and it becomes even tougher if they begin to feel that one parent is undependable and doesn’t care enough to see them.

Being present physically isn’t enough. You also have to be emotionally available to your kids. That might mean sitting down to talk to them (even just over dinner) or letting them know you’re willing to listen when they decide they want to open up. Avoid activities that keep you from spending quality time with them… even if that means taking a short break from your new significant other.

While it’s great to do fun things, like go to the movies or head off to an amusement park, don’t forget that you’re still the parent. If there’s homework due or bedrooms to be cleaned, squeeze those things in—and maintain the normal rules and regulations you always have.

If Your Ex Doesn’t Show Up

Occasionally, you might find yourself in a sticky situation. If your ex doesn’t show up to pick up the kids and hasn’t called to explain, you have to spring into action. You’ll need to explain your ex’s absence to your kids and do something to fill in the gap.

Before you get upset, pick up the phone. Try to call your ex and see if you figure out what’s going on. If that’s impossible, call your North York divorce lawyer. If you’re journaling during your divorce (you probably should be), make note that your ex didn’t show up to visit the kids.

Be understanding if your ex has a genuine emergency. However, if he or she consistently “blows off” parenting time, let your North York divorce lawyer know. Your lawyer can help you start legal proceedings to enforce or change your existing parenting time agreement.