Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Child custody visitation schedules should be well thought out

Child custody and child visitation can be one of the most important aspects of any divorce. Child custody and visitation agreements, of course, have an impact on the relationship the parents have with their children which is why it is important for it to be carefully considered. The family law system seeks to help couples reach a divorce settlement that is best for their futures and in the best interests of their children following divorce which is why child custody is an important long-term consideration for both parents and children.

An effective visitation schedule will look as far ahead into the future as possible. It is important for divorcing parents to evaluate their present needs, as well as consider future needs when negotiating a child custody agreement and visitation arrangement. Though child custody changes may be possible, they do not have to be granted by the court and may not be agreed to by the parents down the road to it is important to think as far ahead as possible when developing a visitation plan.

Visitation schedules should be detailed and specific and should address how holidays will be divided, how birthdays will be divided, how vacation time will be addressed and other special events in the child's life. Child custody agreements also address who will have physical custody of the child or if physical and legal custody will be shared. When parents are able to develop a child custody agreement and visitation plan together, it provides them more opportunities to make those decisions for themselves rather than having the family law court make them for them.

Divorcing couples and parents are always encouraged to work together to resolve divorce-related concerns such as child custody and visitation. The resources available to them through the family law process are designed to help them do just that and to remain focused on what is in the best interests of the child.

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