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The elements of a successful child visitation arrangement

Fortunately, restrictions concerning child visitation have loosened up during the past few years. What used to be a regimented schedule where the non-custodial parent had the opportunity of seeing their children every other weekend, more equitable shared custody situations have become the norm.

The stigma of divorce is going away, mothers are no longer automatically granted custody, fathers no longer are the caregivers that spend more time away from home than the other spouse, and it's becoming increasingly less likely that the financial assets concerning a marriage will all be under one spouse's name. Nevertheless, the child still often suffers the brunt of hardship because both parents are not making visitation decisions with the child in mind.

Child visitation arrangements generally work best for children when:

  • Divorced parents live close to each other if such a circumstance is possible
  • The visitation schedule contains a level of predictability so a child is not taken by surprise
  • Enough flexibility is nevertheless contained in a visitation agreement that will accommodate a child's needs
  • Alternate means of communicating with the children can be made without intruding upon the other parent's time with the child

Good family law attorneys will take into account the needs of both parents and the children when creating a visitation plan. This can often involve being able to communicate and negotiate with the other parent that is not that attorney's client. The attorney will also emphasize that the needs of the child need to come first when it involves matters of childhood visitation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Part Time Presence, Full Time Parent," by Marie Hartwell, Ed.D, Feb. 7, 2013

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