Visitation is supposed to help non-custodial parents spend time with their children after separation or divorce. Care should go into your visitation plan so that it works well and provides the attention children of divorce need. For some tips on making sure that visitation goes smoothly, read below.
- When you make a plan, be sure you take the schedules of both the parents and the child into account. Consider work schedules, school, outside classes, and more.
- Usually, both parents share legal responsibility for the child. One parent will be ordered to care for the child. That is known as joint custody with sole physical custody. Both parents are expected to make major decisions about the child with things like discipline, education, religion, and more.
- Have back-up plans if visitation times depend on other obligations. For example, if your ex is supposed to be with your children over the weekend but is sick, you may need a sitter if you have work commitments.
- It's best for the children if both parents support the other – even if they are divorced. Be sure you encourage time with the non-custodial parent if you are the primary caregiver. No matter how you feel about your ex, visitation is for the good of the children. Be open to the non-custodial parent spending as much time as they can with the child.
- If the child is old enough to go to school, visitation may need to be adjusted. Children can have a bewildering amount of activities and parents may need to be extra organized to keep up with them. You and your ex may want to use a shared calendar to keep on top of your child's increasingly active life that includes sports, recitals, and their social life.
- Do your best to speak kindly of your ex in front of your children. If problems crop up, speak privately to your ex and leave your children out of it.
- Be open with your ex about potential moves, new relationships, and anything that affects your child
- Have the child ready to go when visitation time comes.
- Parents that didn't get along well enough to stay married may have more problems dealing with visitation. If your issues are minor, try to deal with them yourself. If you have a big problem with visitation, speak to your divorce lawyer. Major issues might include a spouse who abuses the child, abuses drugs or alcohol, exposes the child to unsafe conditions, subjects the child to psychological abuse, etc. You can ask for a hearing to alter the visitation schedule if necessary.
For more help with your visitation issues, speak to a law firm like Hugh O. Allen Law Offices.