One of the passive aggressive ways in which another parent can try and manipulate or control a child and their ex partner is by not returning the child on time or at the agreed upon location. Often times, the person who has the child will purposely arrive 20-40 minutes late. This is an inconvenience to you, the child and is very manipulative. Here are some tips on how to handle such a situation. The problem with this passive-aggressive behavior is that it is technically “wrong” most families let this slight go because the cost of fighting is more than the small benefit to be received. That is why parents should arm themselves with strategies to stop the bullying.
#1. Get a receipt. The first thing you should do is find a place extremely close to where the exchange is occurring. Buy something small. This gives you a paper document to prove where you were at and the time. This is because one of the favorite things that a person does is blame you for being late. This will prove your time and location.
#2. Start a notebook. Keep a record of the violations along with your receipts.
#3. Offer a solution to the other side. Suggest that they too obtain a receipt to prove what time they were at a particular location. It doesn’t matter whether they even do it or not. By you suggesting an offer to resolve it you will show to the court that you are a solution oriented person.
#4. Document the tardiness after the fact. Send the other side an email and let them know you do not appreciate their games and that you are keeping track of their tardiness.
#5. After multiple violations you must take action in court. You will request the court to find the other side in contempt of court for violating the court order. You then can use #1-#4 at the hearing.
#6. Get exchanges to occur at a supervised exchange center. If the matter persists then ask the court that exchanges occur at a facility where the other parent must pay for it. Whenever money is involved it usually serves as a great deterrent for future violations.