By Mike Stetzer
In divorce, parents typically try to work out a child visitation schedule, or for parents who can't agree on the terms of child visitation, the divorce court may order a child visitation schedule. Divorce courts find that it's in the best interest of the kid to have a fairly equal amount of time with both parents.
If parents are cooperative, the court may order reasonable visitation for the noncustodial parent, which is left open to interpretation by the divorce laws in your state.
Reasonable visitation works best when both parents are committed to developing a child visitation schedule allowing both parents plenty of time with the child.
The divorce court doesn't enter a specific child visitation order, and the parents don't have to agree in writing to set child visitation times. This arrangement allows a greater degree of flexibility in scheduling visits around parents' work and vacation, as well as the child's activity schedule.
An attorney who handles divorce and custody can help you work out a fair visitation schedule.
Many state courts have found ordering reasonable visitation can create problems later since “reasonable” is a subjective term.
In these states, the courts tend to set visitation schedules if parents cannot come to an agreement on child visitation issues. Some states provide guidelines for reasonable visitation, giving the noncustodial parent a guarantee of a minimum amount of time with the child and some holiday visitation.
Most state guidelines allow the noncustodial parent to have approximately 20% of the total parenting time. Typical child visitation schedules might include every other weekend, overnight visits, several weeks during the summer and certain holidays.
Speak with a divorce lawyer about how to negotiate visitation schedules to continue to have a relationship with your child. Find a divorce lawyer near you to set up a preliminary consultation by calling at 877-349-1310. Total Divorce will connect you with a local attorney familiar with family law, even if your child visitation case doesn't involve divorce.
The above synopsis of child visitation laws is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to serve as legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these child visitation laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.