When couples are faced with dividing their children’s time between them, one of the inevitable first questions asked is, “What type of visitation plan do you recommend for your clients?”
This is similar to asking someone how they take their coffee – the answers can be as varied as your imagination. While it is true that there once was a “Standard Visitation” plan ordered by most Family Court judges, this is no longer the case. With more cases being resolved through some form of mediation and/or through the use of Guardians ad Litem, it is now more common to see a visitation plan truly catered to the needs, schedules, and traditions of each individual family faced with divorce.
For example, if the actual holiday is not especially important to one parent, he or she may decide the other parent can have holiday visits that include the whole holiday, rather than creating a plan that would have the parents splitting the actual holiday. In other cases, you may see parents not switching the children at all during the school week because their children have trouble adjusting, but the other parents gets every weekend or most weekends during the school year to make up for this.
Important factors to keep in mind when developing a visitation proposal are:
- Work Schedules
- Distance between the parent’s homes & schools
- School Calendar(s) and Children’s After-school activities
- Summer Camps
- Family Holiday Traditions
- Religious schedules/traditions important to the children
- School bus routes
- Can your children organize their school work well enough to transition between two home mid-week?
- Family support/Babysitters available to each parent
Having the assistance of an experience family law attorney can be particularly helpful when dealing with complex issues, such as custody and visitation. If you are facing such issues, you are welcome to contact our office at (864) 598-9172 to schedule a consultation to meet with one of our attorneys.