Establishing a Visitation Schedule During Divorce
Tips for Establishing a Visitation Schedule During Divorce
Reaching an agreement with your ex may seem impossible, especially when it comes to your children. If you are embroiled in a high-conflict divorce, or one wrought with fighting, you may believe that reaching any mutual resolution is beyond the realm of possibility. However, there are ways that you could try to compromise an agreement on the child visitation front without the input of a judge. Take some time to think about these issues when trying to negotiate with your ex.
Consider the Current Ages of the Children
When you and your spouse decide to split, there are many elements of a divorce to consider. At the top of your list has to be your children. The court does not like to make decisions about how to split time between parents, but they will if no compromise can be reached. When contemplating a fair split, you must consider the ages of the kids and what their needs dictate. For example, when an infant is involved, the requirements are more significant than if you have teenagers. More time with one parent for smaller children may be the preference of the court.
Understand that the needs of the children will change as they get older. You must remain flexible and contemplate changes in the schedule set forth when you first divorce. You can account for possible changes in the document before filing it with the court.
Be Realistic With Your Schedule
You may want to spend as much time with your children as you can, especially knowing they will need your support now more than ever. However, this does not mean that you should contemplate a schedule that does not work for you. If you have a pretty rigid schedule at work that doesn’t have you out before 5:00 p.m., don’t sign a document that promises to pick the children up at 2:00 p.m. This will only open them up for heartache and result in conflict with your ex. Consider what you believe you can reasonably do, not what you would like to do.
Create a Neutral Meeting Place
School or daycare is an excellent place to drop off/pick up your children, and when you want to avoid interaction with your ex, this cuts that possibility off completely. There may be times when visitation ends on a Sunday evening, and if so, arrange to meet in a neutral area halfway between the houses. This will help you steer clear of run-ins.
In drafting a parenting agreement, your children’s needs must come first. A divorce lawyer can help get you through establishing this blueprint for your post-divorce life and do what is best for your children.