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Reasonable visitation versus fixed visitation in child custody

When two Florida parents are getting a divorce, the most important thing to consider is how the parenting plan will be organized, and how the children will spend time with each parent. When it comes to one parent having full custody of the children, the other parent will have the right to visitation. Visitation arrangements can be categorized "reasonable visitation" and "fixed visitation."

Reasonable visitation allows both parents -- provided they are still in communication and getting along -- to have the freedom to create their own parenting plans and visitation schedules. When negotiating reasonable visitation arrangements, usually the parent with full custodial rights will have more influence and power over the duration and times of the visitation schedule. If the custodial parent becomes unreasonable, achieving reasonable visitation will usually be impossible and it may be necessary for a family law judge to make an opinion on the matter.

A fixed visitation schedule is a schedule that has been determined by a judge's orders. The fixed visitation schedule will detail exactly when the noncustodial parent will have the right to visit with his or her children. Fixed visitation schedules are usually used when both parents cannot reach agreement and are not able to cooperate on a visitation plan outside of court.

In the state of Florida, parents are always encouraged to develop their parenting plans outside of court. However, sometimes court involvement is required. When this is the case, parents are encouraged to seek the counsel of a qualified family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," accessed Oct. 28, 2016

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