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It’s snow day # (I’ve lost count) in Henrico County and it made me think of this issue that we often see.  Your agreement or court order may or  may not provide a time when an exchange of children is to occur.  If it provides a specific time, we often receive inquires related to the other parent being late.  These inquires range from what to do if the parent is 10-15 minutes late to what to do if the parent is 30 minutes late, and beyond.  I thought of this question today, on snow day # (I’ve lost count).  During times of bad weather, parents may not be able to return a child as scheduled.  Could this be considered a violation of a court order?  Maybe yes; and maybe no. Yes, parents should follow court orders.  However, Courts may consider the circumstances of the lateness or non-return, if they are unusual.  Is it habitual?  Is it intentional? Or is it related to an event that is outside the control of the other parent (snow, accident, etc.).  Use good judgment in how you respond as the parent expecting the child to be returned.  If driving in bad weather just to get a child back by a specific time may put your child in danger, remember that the best interest of the child is paramount.  If you are supposed to deliver the child to the other parent, and you cannot do so as scheduled due to bad weather for example, be respectful in communicating with the other parent and think about how to make accommodations for the lost time of the other parent where it is no one’s fault. 

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