Parenting Time | Child Visitation
The Parenting Plan
Parenting time is the time that a child spends with their parent – custodial or non-custodial. However the term is genrally used to discuss the time the non-custodial parent spends with a child.
Whenever possible parenting time decisions should be made by the parents and not left to a judge to decide. Co-parenting is probably the one area that will require the most joint cooperation and flexibility between divorcing or separated parents.
There is no "model" schedule. Every family dynamic is different. When creating a parenting plan, think creatively. Put together a schedule that is uniquely matched to you family.
The latest trend in visitation is "virtual visitation". Currently Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin are allowing judges to include the use of webcams, e-mail, instant messaging, video calls such as Skype, and other technological tools to keep non-custodial parents in touch with their children.
Virtual visitation is a vast improvement over the basic phone call. One-on-one video conferences let parents and children see each other and better connect as they talk.
While virtual visitation has made it much easier for non-custodial parents to maintain a relationship with their children who have relocated to a different state it can be beneficial even when parents don’t live far from each other.
As with most every aspect of divorce the more you and your ex can negotiate the better off you are. If however you aren’t able to come to an agreement regarding electronic communications seven states now can it and 19 more have laws in the draft stage to allow virtual visitation.
Each parent should have vacation time with their children. The amount of vacation time that the child spends with each parent should be determined by what works best for each family. There are various factors that should be considered including the age of the child, school schedules including winter break, spring break, summer vacations and the parent's work schedules.
Holidays are commonly alternated every other year. While this may seem to be the most "fair" set up it may not necessarily work for every family. Some families have certain traditions for particular holidays. For instance, the father's family might have a Christmas Eve tradition while the mother's family has a big family gathering on Christmas day. In a case like this you might want to consider not alternating these holidays but to let the children be with their mother on one holiday and the father on the other. If you have to work on a holiday that the children are to spend with you, then you should allow the other parent to have the children on that day without "trading" for another holiday.
Pick Up and Drop Off
Do not use visitation pickup and drop-off as an opportunity to continue or begin an argument with your (ex) spouse. If you do not get along with your ex then remain in the car. When you arrive to pick up the children for their visitation let the children come out to you. Do not go inside.
Custodial Parent - Make sure the children are ready on time for their visitation..
Non Custodial Parent - Be on time. If you are going to be late, call your (ex) spouse as soon as possible and let him/her know what time you will be arriving. It's only fair to the children to let them know if you are going to be late.
In general, if you can be flexible when it comes to visitation or parenting time everone wins, especially the children. What it really comes down to is respect. You can't expect your children to be respectful to others if they don't see you being respectful. Always remember the best interest of the child!
Additional Child Custody and Visitation Resources:Directory of Attorneys Directory of Mediators Directory of Divorce Services FAQ's Children's Bill of Rights Child Custody Child Support Grandparent's Rights to Visitation Do's & Don'ts Featured Articles
Children Related Articles
Follow Us On
THIS WEB SITE IS PROVIDED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY
Do not take any actions based upon the information contained within this web site without first consulting an attorney or an appropriate professional depending upon the content of the information.