Child Visitation: What schedule is best? What should you tell a family law attorney?
Every child visitation schedule is different. What works for one family might not work for the other. This is why it is crucial for the non-custodial parent to fully inform his or her attorney about the specific details of his or her life so the attorney can fight to get an appropriate visitation schedule, one that not only ensures exposure to the minor child but also provides the best environment for nurturing the bond between parent and child. So what should you expect and what should you tell your attorney to get the best possible outcome? Here is a list of common visitation options you should consider:
1. Regular child visitation: Many non-custodial parents will see their child on a regular schedule. Typical arrangements consist of visits every other weekend, however alternative visitation arrangements may be necessary when unique factors are present. For example, a parent who works on the weekend may be able to litigate or negotiate to get regular weekday visitation instead of the typical every other weekend visit. In order to secure the most opportune regular visitation schedule, you should tell your family law attorney about your daily life. At the very least, you should provide information about your work schedule, social life, and how you typically spend your time.
2. Summer child visitation: Summer visitation usually includes an extended visitation schedule during the child's summer break. For example, many non-custodial parents will have visitation with their children for 2-6 consecutive weeks during this summer. This period of visitation is invaluable as it allows the non-custodial parent to spend significant uninterrupted time with his or her child. These lengthy visitation periods provide ample opportunity for family vacations and many other fun-filled bond-building experiences. It is important to tell your attorney what you typically do during your summer months. Do you travel? Do you vacation at the beach? Do you and your child enjoy specific extracurricular activities? By providing these details to your family law attorney, you will be better prepared for a favorable result.
3. Holiday child visitation: Holidays can be tricky as both parents typically want time with the child. Therefore, it is crucial that you explain your family traditions to your attorney. Do you prefer Christmas Eve over Christmas Day? Does your family have a Memorial Day tradition? Do you eat Thanksgiving earlier in the day or later at night? All of these minor details can be very important when asking the Court or negotiating with the other party for holiday visitation.
4. Travel Arrangements: How are you going to handle custody exchanges? Are you going to be responsible for providing transportation? Sometimes, parents will split the transportation and the parent receiving the child will be responsible for transportation. These are issues to discuss with your attorney.
At Goff Voltin, PLLC, our attorneys are experienced litigators and have handled numerous custody and visitation matters throughout the Hampton Roads area. Our family law attorneys provide free consultations and they are eager to learn more about your individual situation. If you have a custody, visitation or family law matter in Newport News, Hampton, York County, Williamsburg, James City County, or in another jurisdiction in Hampton Roads, let our attorneys help you fight the most important fight of your life: the fight for your child!