Basic Visitation Schedules
How to create a basic vistation schedule for your child. Provides guidelines and tips on how to get started.
You can create your own custody and visitation schedule (on your own or with the other parent) or you can work with an attorney or legal professional and have them create it.
If you don't want to pay the high cost of an attorney, and want to easily make your own schedule, you can use the Custody X Change software.
Custody X Change is software that creates custody schedules and parenting plans. You make each part of your schedule, and then you can print your calendar and plan.
Creating a child visitation schedule isn’t as simple as marking days on a wall calendar. You will need to put forth time and effort if you want to have a schedule that meets the needs of your child and the requirements of the court.
A basic visitation schedule should be comprised of these three components:
- A residential schedule
- A holiday schedule
- A vacation schedule
Custody X Change is software designed to make it easy for parents to create their child visitation schedules. You can use Custody X Change to create a visitation schedule in both written and calendar form. You can also sync your calendar to your iPhone (or other handheld device) so you will always have it in your pocket.
The residential schedule is the foundation of your child visitation schedule. The residential schedule will dictate where your child will live and when he will spend time with each parent on a routine basis.
Your residential schedule will be affected by the distance between the parents’ homes and the type of custody you have.
Some parents live in close proximity to each other and choose to divide their child’s time evenly. It is feasible for them to each spend about half of the time with the child.
Living in the same area as the other parent is convenient but it does not necessarily mean you have to have a 50/50 custody schedule. You are free to design the schedule as you would like as long as the child is able to see both of you on a routine basis.
You should consider each parent’s schedule and create a visitation schedule that optimizes the amount of time your child will spend with each of you.
Distance may prevent a child from having frequent visitation with a parent due to the travel time and expenses. In this case, you would need to create a long distance visitation schedule that would take advantage of the child’s school breaks and vacations.
You might also want to consider allowing the other parent to come visit the child in a long distance custody situation. It is easier for an adult to travel and less costly, especially if you have more than one child.
Custody X Change is effective for making any kind of residential schedule. You can set the schedule to repeat on a cycle so you will always know exactly when you are scheduled to have your child.
You will need to make arrangements for holidays and special occasions and include them in your visitation schedule.
Federal holidays, state holidays, religious holidays, and other special occasions (such as birthdays) may be included. In fact, you are free to designate any day you would like as a special occasion.
When you use Custody X Change to create your visitation schedule, you may choose from a list of common holidays and you may also add your own. Custody X Change automatically adds your selections to the calendar. Some holidays fall on the same date every year but some, such as Easter and Thanksgiving, fall on different dates each year.
Custody X Change configures the dates of all of your holidays and includes them in the calendar. Whether you include a birthday (a specific date) or a special camping trip that you take each year during the third weekend of July, you can always depend on Custody X Change to provide you with an accurate visitation calendar.
As you create the holiday schedule, you will need to determine which days you would like to include and also the start and end times of the holidays.
For example, “Thanksgiving” can be clearly defined as the day before Thanksgiving at 3pm until the day after Thanksgiving at noon. You will need to be specific when creating your holiday schedule in order to avoid conflict and confusion.
The holiday schedule supersedes the residential schedule. This means that the child should spend time with the parent they are scheduled to be with on a particular holiday, even if that holiday falls during the other parent’s time.
Your child should be permitted to spend equitable amounts of time with each of you on holidays. It is common for parents to alternate holidays throughout the year and take turns reversing the schedule in even and odd years.
Custody X Change makes it easy to plan out the holiday schedule because you can choose how to distribute each holiday individually. Once you have made your selection, Custody X Change will automatically include your choice in the calendar and you will be able to look years ahead and make your plans.
You will also need to account for vacation time when you create your visitation schedule.
Vacation time can be a challenge to predict since some people do not have a set vacation schedule with their employers.
You can base vacation time around the child’s school breaks, such as stating the child is to spend the first two weeks of summer with one parent, if that works for you.
You may also simply include instructions in your custody agreement such as a parent must give two weeks advance notice to the other parent prior to taking the child for vacation time.
Custody X Change allows you to do both.
Creating a basic child visitation schedule doesn’t have to be challenging. Custody X Change is a great tool to help you get on the right track and create the best possible schedule for your child.