When going through a divorce, there are many difficult things you will encounter. The process can become even more complicated if you have children. One of the hardest things to do for divorcing couples with children is making a child visitation schedule. 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 devise a visitation schedule that works for everyone.
When working on your child visitation schedule, you should consider the following things:
- Your child’s age and temperament. You need to make a schedule that is age-appropriate. Younger children need to see each parent more often than teenagers whose visitation must be centered around their social lives and activities.
- Your child’s special needs. Visitation should be arranged to allow your child to receive care for medical, developmental, educational, emotional and/or social needs.
- Your child’s ability to adapt to change. If your child struggles with change, it is best to create a schedule with fewer exchanges and longer with each parent so your child feels secure.
- Your child’s school and community environment. The visitation schedule should allow for your child to keep track of and complete all school work. As such, it may be best not to include midweek visits and exchanges. Parenting time should also be scheduled in a way to allow any extra activities that your child may be involved in, such as sports practices or music lessons.
- Each parent’s capability to meet your child’s needs. The taking care of their child should be able to provide a stable home environment.
- Your child’s preferences. Depending on your child’s age and level of maturity, you may be able to ask them what their preferences are for the parenting time schedule. However, although you should take your child’s preference into consideration, you and the other parent should ultimately decide the final schedule.
- Travel time for exchanges. The distance between each parent’s home impacts the practicality of visitation schedules. As such, this should be a major considering factor when making your schedule.
Once you’ve considered these factors, and any other factors that may be relevant to your specific situation, it’s time to create a schedule – or a few, so you can present the other parent with options.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Child Custody Attorney
If you are involved in a child custody battle or simply have questions regarding child custody, it is important that you have a knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights. For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with a Central Valley child custody attorney, please call Gurjit Srai (209) 323-5558 or complete our online form.