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Visitation is the right to see a child regularly, typically awarded by the court to the parent who does not have physical custody of the child. This is the children's time to spend with you. It is a special time that should not be taken for granted.

Try to stay away from schedules that are confusing or where the children are bouncing back and forth between the two households. When developing a visitation plan keep in mind following factors:
  • The children's social life
  • The children school schedule
  • The children's extra curricular activities
  • Possible schedule conflicts
  • Vacation time
  • Holidays
  • The need for children to have set routines
  • Best interest of the children

The most common type of visitation is for the non-custodial parent to have the children every other weekend from Friday evening until Sunday evening. In most cases there is also a "dinner time" visitation on one week night. If possible the weekday visitation could be an overnight visitation instead of just a "Dinner time" visitation.


Each parent should have vacation time with the children. Normal vacation time would be 2 weeks during the summer. In some cases each parent will have the children for one month each during the summer. One parent may have the children for the month of July, while the other parent may have them for the month of August.


The best way to determine which parent has the children on a particular holiday is to alternate the holiday every year. For example if the mother has the children for the Fourth of July the first year then the father would have them the second year. Some families have certain traditions for particular holidays. For instance the husband's family might have a Christmas Eve tradition while the wife's family has a big family gathering on Christmas day. In a case like this you might want to consider not alternating these holidays but to let the children be with their mother on one holiday and the father on the other. If you have to work on a holiday that the children are to spend with you, then you should allow your (ex) spouse to have the children on that day without "trading" for another holiday.


Do not use pickup and drop-offs as an opportunity to continue or begin an argument with your (ex) spouse. If you do not get along with your (ex) spouse then remain in the car. Beep the horn and let the children come out to you. Do not go inside.

Custodial Parent - Make sure the children are ready before your (ex) spouse arrives to pick them up.

Non Custodial Parent - Be on time. If you are going to be delayed, call as soon as possible and to let the children know what time you will be arriving.

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