When going through a divorce there are many difficult things that you will have to get through. For couples with children, making a visitation schedule is typically going to be the hardest. Both parents want to be able to see their children as much as possible, which makes conflict almost inevitable. Whenever possible, however, it is best to work together to come up with a visitation schedule that will work for everyone. When working on this schedule, make sure to consider the following things.
What Is Best for Your Kids
The first and most important thing to always keep in mind throughout the process is what is in the best interests of the child. Setting aside your own wants and needs to help ensure your child has the best possible childhood is critical. All the rest of the considerations listed here should be made in light of what is in your children’s best interests.
Encouraging a Strong Relationship with Both Parents
Children have a natural right to a relationship with both their mother and the father. To the greatest extent possible, a visitation schedule should be made in a way that will encourage a strong bond with both the mother and the father. This typically means making sure the child spends as much time as possible with each parent.
Stability for the Child
Setting a schedule that will provide your child with stability is very important for their mental well-being. Making sure they know where they will be at all times can be comforting to them, and will make the adjustment much easier.
School Year vs. Summer Time
Most parents will want to have a different visitation schedule for the school year than the summer months. Determining what the differences will be can be difficult, but it is well worth the effort. This can help with planning for vacations and other fun times with each parent.
Holidays & Special Occasions
Discussing how holidays and other special occasions will work is extremely important. Holidays help children build memories and traditions with family. Some couples will decide to split the holidays up each year and alternate who gets which ones annually. Others will have certain holidays always apply to one parent every year. Either option can work well, but it needs to be decided ahead of time to avoid conflict.
Dealing with Exceptions
No matter how detailed a visitation schedule might be, there will always be the need for exceptions. Whether it is due to an unexpected event, an emergency, or anything else, the ‘rules’ governing how these exceptions are handled should be clearly identified.
We’re Here for You
If you have any questions about your visitation schedule, or you would like help getting it written up and submitted to the courts, we are here for you. The Vasquez de Lara Law Group will be happy to work with you to help you get a visitation schedule that works for everyone involved.