Does Bad Weather Affect Custody Exchanges?

Board Certified Family Law Specialist Matt Arnold answers the question: “What can I do to gain custody of my child in North Carolina?”


You have made it through your divorce. Everything has been settled and agreed upon – the distribution of shared items, property, and the custody agreement between you and your ex-spouse. Everything is seemingly “perfect” and everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. While this period of certainty is usually well-deserved, do not let it lull you into a false sense of security. There are still issues that can arise in a child custody agreement. One of those issues is weather.


Winter-storm-Charlotte-Monroe-Mooresville-Child-Custody-Law-Firm-300x225You might be wondering, how could the weather play a role in my child custody agreement? North Carolina can have unexpected weather. If there is inclement weather when you are supposed to take your children to the other spouse, what is required? Can you delay the exchange if there is bad weather? Or, are you required to exchange the kids no matter the circumstances? The answer to these questions are “it depends.”


The Order


The first step in determining the requirements for exchanging custody during bad weather is the looking at the actual custody order. Some orders might include a paragraph or reference to bad weather. If this is the case, then you should follow what the order says to do. If you have not included bad weather provisions in the custody order, it is wise to speak to your divorce attorney about including bad weather provisions. This is especially important for ex-spouses who do not live close to one another. This increases the chances that bad weather can affect the exchange of children. Your attorney can guide you in amending the order or making sure to include a bad weather provision before the order is finalized.


Communication is Key


Regardless of the inclusion of a bad weather clause in the child custody order, make sure that you are communicating with your ex-spouse. In any times of uncertainty surrounding custody, it is likely to be in your best interest to communicate early and often. The earlier you are able to make plans when there is bad weather, the better you and your ex-spouse will feel about the arrangement. You need to keep an open mind in these circumstances and try to be fair and flexible. Think of the best interests of the child. If you know that there will be bad weather arriving, make a plan with your ex-spouse early. One option is exchanging the children early, or scheduling a different time for that parent to spend time with the children.


If you have questions regarding bad weather and your child custody order, speak with your attorney. No matter the questions that you have, it is important to not use bad weather as an excuse to prevent the other parent from spending time with the children. If you give the other parent a hard time, this could come back to haunt you when you might need some flexibility. In addition, there could be legal repercussions if you prevent a spouse from seeing the children or violating the custody agreement. The family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are here to help you with a custody agreement. Contact us for help. If you find yourself facing a complicated family law matter and need the help of experienced family-law attorneys in or around Charlotte, Lake Norman, or our new office in Monroe (by appointment only until 2019), please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The family law practice group at Arnold & Smith, PLLC includes two Board-Certified Family Law specialists and one Child Welfare Law specialist, as well as several attorneys with many years of family law experience that are committed to providing a powerful voice to individuals facing the often-tumultuous issues in this area of law. The range of issues our family law clients may be facing include pre- and post-nuptial agreements; separation agreements; post-separation support; child support (both temporary and permanent); absolute divorce; divorce from bed and board; military divorce; equitable distribution of assets; child custody (both temporary and permanent); retirement benefits and divorce; alimony and spousal support; adoption; and emancipation. Because this area of the law is usually emotionally charged and complicated, the family law attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC act with the utmost dedication to ensure that each client understands his or her options, and then act to achieve the best result possible for that client’s particular situation.





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