Developing a visitation schedule with your soon-to-be-ex is oftentimes one of the most difficult aspects of a divorce. No mother wants to have to give up time with her children. No one wants to give up certain holidays or vacations. And if there is significant disagreement or contention over visitation between you and your spouse, it will certainly make the process that much more difficult to bear.
Nonetheless, it is usually more beneficial to battle through the contention with your spouse and try to achieve a visitation plan you can both agree on rather than leaving it up to a judge. When planning a visitation schedule, here are five factors you should always consider:
1) Custody arrangement
Nearly all aspects of your visitation schedule will be dependent on the custody arrangement. Obviously, visitation for a joint custody situation will be very different than visitation for a sole custody situation. Consider how much time both you and your spouse will have with the children based on custody, and work from there.
2) The best interests of the children
As with nearly all aspects of a divorce, your top priority should be the best interests if your children. Try to set aside your personal emotions and frustrations regarding your divorce and your husband and develop a plan that will be healthy and fair for your children.
3) Traditions/Important days for each side of the family (holidays, etc)
Holidays and family traditions will be a major factor and consideration in any visitation schedule. Think about which holidays are most important to you, and consider ones are most important to your husband. Oftentimes different sides of the family have different traditions, and certain holidays may be much more important for one side than the other. Every family is different so try to think objectively about how you can fairly split the holidays.
When you are developing a visitation schedule, it is incredibly important to consider practical aspects of the time-sharing arrangement. How will the children be transported from one home to another? Once again, the custody arrangement will play a large role in how you determine transportation issues, but it is always important to consider practical matters like transportation.
5) Costs involved in time-sharing
Time-sharing between parents is always going to result in extra costs. Particularly in situations where the parents live far apart, cost should be an important factor in your visitation plan. Who will pay for the children to fly to stay with their dad for the summer? It is not always clear which parent needs to pay, so it is important that your visitation plan covers such cost responsibilities.
Do your best to remain objective and think logically about all aspects of the time-sharing arrangement. Your kids will be much better off as a result. Additionally, a skilled family law attorney can help you consider any and all important factors—such as the five above—when it comes to drawing up a visitation schedule. If you are a mother facing a divorce and you need assistance with creating an effective visitation schedule, or if you need guidance with any other aspect of your divorce, contact the Quick Law Group today.