When parents part ways, visitation encourages visits between non-custodial parties and their children. Follow the tips below to help ensure that child custody visitation is a positive and stress-free experience for everyone.
It's up to you to make a good plan. The court only steps in and orders the creation of a visitation schedule when the parents cannot agree on one on their own. You and your spouse are uniquely qualified to make a visitation plan that works well now and in the future.
The court sets a high priority on the welfare of minor children. The plan you create should allow the child to spend as much time as possible with the non-custodial parent. At the same time, though, the plan should be workable for the parents who likely have work and personal commitments to take into account.
It can take time to create a good plan. Sitting down with everyone's schedules and a calendar is a good idea. Don't forget to include holidays, school breaks, and birthdays in your planning. Many parents take turns with these events on a yearly basis.
Keep in mind that visitation is ordered only in certain custody situations. Not all parents have parental rights. In that case, one parent is the sole custodian of the child. However, that situation is rare. In most cases, both parents continue to share the legal responsibility for the child as they did while together. If visitation is ordered, that means one party is the primary physical custodian of the child.
Visitation means you will be encountering your ex regularly. For visitation to work, you should be ready to put aside the issues that created strife in your relationship. Family court judges are not involved in helping parents resolve petty issues. Try to work things out between yourselves so your personal issues don't spoil things for your child. No matter how you may feel about your ex, your child will benefit greatly from spending time with the other parent.
You can always speak to your attorney if visitation is not going well. Some problems may be too worrisome to work out without a judge intervening. If any of the following are happening with your visitation, speak to your divorce lawyer:
- You have proof that your ex is using drugs and/or alcohol during visitation.
- Your ex is threatening parental kidnapping.
- Your child reports that your ex is physically or mentally abusing them during visitation.
Take action quickly but have more than just allegations before you speak to your lawyer. To find out more about visitation, speak to your family attorney.