Custody battles are very common in divorcing households. Even parents who have been completely uninvolved often ask for custody because they don’t want to pay child support. However, some of those parents will end up abandoning their parenting-time responsibilities after the courts finalize their divorces.
If your ex has stopped showing up for visitation, that leaves much more work for you to do. Although you may have initially hoped that they might resume frequent visitation or parenting time, you need to take action when it’s obvious they’re not going to show up for their kids.
Asking for a custody modification can either motivate your ex to show up or help protect you as the parent doing more for the kids.
Officially changing custody means requesting a modification
You’ve already informally changed custody terms because your ex doesn’t show up for their parenting time, a decision you had no say in and simply had to accommodate. That informal change does nothing to benefit or protect you as the parent with most or even all of the parental responsibilities.
Going to court for a modification makes those changes official and helps offset the lack of parenting time for your ex. If the courts do change the custody order to reflect that you have the kids all of the time, your ex’s child support obligations will likely increase as well.
Although that extra money does not make up for how absentee parents damage their children, they can at least help compensate you for the additional responsibilities you have to accept on behalf of your uninvolved ex. The sooner you take action, the sooner you can update your custody order to reflect the reality of your family’s situation.