Among the different decisions a family law judge makes in child custody cases, determining which arrangement is going to be in the best interest of the child is one of them. In order to render such decisions, judges must weigh how well the child gets along with his or her parents and which one is most apt to equip the child with the necessary skills to be productive later in life.
Sometimes, this means that a parent's request for custody may be denied. In situations such as this, it may require you to devise a visitation schedule to see your kid.
While there are many different types of visitation schedules that exist, some of the more common arrangements may include a parent being allowed to have their child stay overnight during the week or every other weekend. Others may require the parents to either split up or alternate the holidays or birthdays they spend with their child.
During extended school breaks, such as the summer one, the non-custodial parent may be able to request to spend as much as six consecutive weeks with their child. Kids who are subject to custodial agreements traditionally have only 20 percent of their lives monopolized by parent-child visitation arrangements.
As for what schedule is best for the your child, parenting experts suggest that maintaining a fairly consistent visitation schedule is best. In some states, it's even required that parents maintain the same degree of engagement with their child that they enjoyed prior to their parents' separation.
While consistency is important to your child's well-being, so too is flexibility. Parenting experts say a parent should be able to modify their schedule to accommodate the occasional emergency that may arise in the other parent's life. An example of this is if the other parent gets unexpectedly stuck at work.
While the change in plans may initially seem inconvenient, especially if you're not seeing eye-to-eye with your ex, it can serve as an impetus for your ex to do the same for you if you ever need to call in a favor yourself.
Like any other contract, a visitation agreement is more easily enforced when it's documented in writing. If you need help in drafting a parenting plan, then an experienced Plantation, Florida, family law attorney can help.
Source: The Spruce, "What is a Typical Visitation Schedule?," Jennifer Wolf, accessed June 30, 2017