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, calendars, and professional parenting plan documents.to see how it can help you.
You can also use Custody X Change to:
Creating a child visitation schedule in the District of Columbia can be made easier if you are familiar with the Washington, D.C. child custody and visitation laws.
These laws can be found in the District of Columbia Official Code, Division VIII, General Laws, Title 46, Domestic Relations, and in Division II, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure, Title 16, Particular Actions, Proceedings and Matters, Chapter 9, Divorce, Annulment, Separation, Support, etc.
The law contains key information such as definitions for the various types of custody and the contents of a parenting plan. If you are familiar with the law and the expectations of the court, you should be able to create a child visitation schedule the court will approve of.
The types of custody the court can award are listed in DC ST § 16-914-(a)(1)(A):
Your Washington, D.C. child visitation schedule should be developed in accordance to the type of custody arrangements you wish to have.
A judge may rule on custody in any manner he or she feels is in the best interests of the child.
Parents may share custody, having joint legal custody, joint physical custody, or both.
One parent may be the only person granted custodial rights, which means he or she would have sole legal custody, sole physical custody, or both.
It is possible for both parents to share joint legal custody while only one parent has sole physical custody.
Even when a parent has sole custody of their child, the other parent in usually entitled to reasonable visitation time with the child.
Sometimes visitation will be supervised or restricted, if the parent's conduct has been proven to be detrimental to the child.
Basically, the judge will award custody in any manner it deems appropriate for the individual situation.
The District of Columbia presumes that joint custody is in the best interest of a child (DC ST § 16-914.2), unless there is evidence of parental misconduct such as child abuse, neglect, kidnapping, substance abuse, etc. This evidence must be substantiated by an officer of the court.
In normal circumstances, both parents are encouraged to have frequent, ongoing contact and meaningful, nurturing, loving relationships with their child.
If you want a different kind of custody arrangement besides joint custody, you will need to prove to the court why the type of custody you are requesting would be better for your child.
In Washington, D.C., a child visitation schedule is a component of a parenting plan, which is a document created by the parents that delegates parental rights, responsibilities, and obligations.
Your child visitation schedule should include (DC ST § 16-914.c):
The best interest of the child is the main concern of the court in child custody matters.
Some of the factors the court considers when determining the child's best interest are (DC ST § 16-914.3):
Thinking about these factors as you make your schedule can assist you in making a schedule that really works for your child.
In addition, since these are the factors that the court considers when determining custody arrangements, if you incorporate these factors into your schedule you will have a better chance of the court accepting your schedule.