Determining a custody agreement is arguably one of the most difficult and emotional aspects of a divorce. It is understandable that neither parent wants to give up time with their children. That is why it is essential to create a fair visitation schedule.
Of course, your visitation schedule depends on the custody agreement. Parents sharing joint custody with split schedules might have more details to work out than a parent with sole custody. However, here are some general tips to make a visitation schedule that actually works:
Make the schedule realistic
It is important to consider many factors when making a visitation schedule, including:
- Both parents' work schedules
- Your child's school schedule
- Your child's extracurricular activities
- The distance between each parent's home
Calculating these factors in with the visitation schedule can help accurately predict each parents' availability and ability to visit.
The process and aftermath of a divorce are already a very emotional time for everyone involved. If you establish a visitation schedule that you cannot comply with, it could lead to even more disputes.
Remember, you can always adjust the schedule if necessary. Your circumstances change. The visitation schedule that works now, may not be the one that works forever.
Plan a strategy for special occasions
Special occasions could include anything from birthdays to vacations and holidays. It is natural that parents want to spend time with their children on special occasions, but you must also consider the situation from your ex-spouse's perspective.
Some common strategies to approach visitation for special occasions include:
- Sharing holiday weekends evenly
- Exchanging important holidays every year
- Dividing vacation time, for example your child's summer vacation
You can be as creative as you like, as long as the schedule fits your family's individual needs, and complies with the custody order and Texas visitation laws.
Maintain what is in the best interest of your child
Any decision involving your children should always put their best interests first. Divorced parents often disagree, but the love for your child is a source of common ground. Thinking of your child's needs first can also help craft a visitation schedule that works for everyone involved.