Visitation Schedule

If anyone is wondering what happens when you go to court regarding visitation and custody I will explain to you several types of visitation schedules the parties often agree to or the Court offers to you.  The basic concept of family custody schedules is providing frequent and continuing contact for both parents.  So the Court often tries to shape visitation orders that allow both parties to participate in their children’s lives without leaving one parent out of the picture.

A standard visitation schedule not too long ago would have one parent as primary custodian and the other parent as the alternating weekend parent.  However, times have changed and a weekend parent now becomes the 1st, 3rd and 4th weekend parent.  In addition, the Wednesday or Thursday overnight or dinner visit has been implemented.  Moreover, with all the three day holidays children are getting in school a weekend often includes a Friday to Tuesday morning drop off at school. This type of schedule is common and is implemented when one parent does not have primary physical custody but more a visiting parent.  This type of typical visitation plan does give one parent significant more time than the other parent.  A more friendly visitation or custodial arrangement would be alternating weekends with one parent having every Monday and Tuesday and one parent having every Wednesday and Thursday.  Then each parent would alternate Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  This is a 50% percent schedule that is very good in that is gives frequent contact for both parents.  It involves each parent equally and no parent is without seeing the other child for more than a few days.  It is better than week on and week off because there is less time away form the children for each parent.

As far as Holidays are concerned the Courts always use the alternating years for Holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring Break. That means one parent can have Thanks giving in even years and the other parent has it on Odd years.  In addition, each parent usually gets to have visitation on their birthdays.  Holidays such as Halloween and Fourth of July and New Years eve or day can be negotiated alternating or sometimes one parent choose to have that Holiday as a priority and can request that Holiday. Much of the Holidays need to be negotiated more specifically because often family traditions are common and one parent would like to include the children in the family schedule.

Often a common item in visitation plan I often like to see happen to parents who dont have 50% custody is a midweek visit with the other parent.  These visits are very important in creating contact with a child they might not have much time to spend with.  This can be either a dinner or an overnight. It would include possibly a pick of the child on a Wednesday after school and a drop off at school the next morning.

All these schedules are subject to alterations according to each parents liking.