Custody of children visitation.

It is important to have of a custody of children visitation schedule. Having a solid schedule will pay off in the long run. A balanced custody and visitation schedule allows both parents and the children to be clear about visitation times, locations and other custody matters.

Conflict reduction between the parents and helping the children to adjust to the new situation are just two of the advantages. The custody and visitation schedule will provide a sucure feeling for the whole family in this new situation.

The custody of children visitation schedule is at the heart of the custody arrangement and no effort is too small to make this schedule the best one possible for your children.

Why is visitation important for your children?

The United Nations Rights of the Child states clearly: “Every child has the right to maintain an ongoing relationship with both parents”. Visitation from the non custodial parent is essential for your children for many reasons. To mention the custody of children visitation most important ones:

  • It is essential for the emotional development of the child
  • For teenage boys, it is very important to have the father present as a role model
  • The attachment figure (usually the mother) needs to be around almost allways during the first 6 years
  • Every child needs safety and love. From both parents. If it comes from only one parent, the child feels rejected or abandoned. Bonding builds trust, security, feeling safe, feeling protected. These senses stay alive also during the days when the father is not present. To maintain and strengthen the bond, visitation must be regularly
  • Bonds are created and strengthened when sharing activities: reading bedtime stories, sharing dinner, gaming, doing sports together and going to the cinema
  • Visiting and bonding on a regular basis results in a sense of permanent connectedness
  • Your child wants to be loved by both parents
  • Children between 18 and 36 month (3 years). During this period, the child becomes less dependent of his parents. The child discovers that there is more in life than the basic needs of sleep, food, physical contact and love. The long discovery starts. He needs to feel secure to do this. His parents are his security. At this young age, parents and the security the parents provide are forever. To enforce this feeling of security, it is important that the parents are around very often. You should be with the child as much as possible.
  • Children between 6 and 18 month. The dependency on their parents is 100%. They are aware of. They know immediately when you are close by or not. If you are not there often enough, the baby might get anxious and even stressed. At this age, the non custodial parent must bond with his child. You should focus on getting attached to each other. It is very well possible to build up an emotional relationship with your baby, even when you are not living with him. You must have the possibility to visit him frequently.
  • Newly born children until 6 month. You want your little kid to know you as a parent. That is only possible if your child sees you often enough. That way, the child will know you by voice, face and by smell. Psychologists recommend non custodial parents to visit their newly born child as often as possible for at least 2 hours continuously.

Please read the Children's Divorce Stories to learn what visitation and non visitation does to children.

Regular custody and visitation schedule

Most important is to determine the type of custody of children visitation schedule you think is needed for you children. The basis for the schedule is in the repitition of the cycle of custody.

There are custody arrangements that are based on the sole custody, meaning that the children primarely live with one parent and visit the other parent regularly. The other form is the joint custody, where the children spend a considerable amount of time with both the farther and the mother.

Of course you as parents base the decision of the format of the custody on what is best for the children. When the decision is taken and the typt of custody arrangement is clear, the parents can create the repetition of the custody and visitation schedule. Parents should start by writing a custody and visitation schedule for a few weeks at a row. After a couple of weeks the schedule starts to repeat itself.

This is the moment you stop and count the number of weeks you have scheduled. This could mean that you have for instance a 4 week schedule or an altenating schedule (two weeks in fact). The parents can now write out the schedule for the rest of the year.

Special visitation schedules: holidays

A special kind of custody of children visitation schedule would be a holiday schedule. The parents write down a list of all the holidays to be included in the schedule. This list should include national holidays, religious holidays, and/or school holidays.

Be very specific when these holidays start and end and divide these holidays between the parents. Both parents should have more or less the same amount of holidays in the schedule. Good idea would be to alternate the holidays every year or have a rotation system.

Be aware that the holiday schedule takes preference over the general repeating visitation cycle. Mark aslo the holiday schedule in the full year calendar.

Special visitation schedules: special events and vacations

An important part of the custody of children visitation schedule are those special days and vacations. Children playing soccer games, playing recitals and any special moment that changes the normal custody routines. The parensts should share and go through these special events and mark them in the calendar.

It is most likely that other special events will come up during the year, so be aware about possible short notice. Both parents should decide on when the children are taken on vacations.

For the so called unspecified vacations in the schedule a certain number of days of vacation for both of the parents should be reserved. Of course adequate notification has to be given when a vacation is being planned. The summer holidays are typically when the regular schedule is being changed.

Visitation provisions and stipulations

It would be wise for the parents to include the so called visitation provisions or stipulations. This to make the schedule run more smoothly. Examples of these provisions include transportation, how to change the schedule, how to decide on activities affecting the schedule etc.

Once the schedule has been made, both parents can focus on enjoying their time with the children.

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