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. Use the free download to see how it can help you.
You can also use Custody X Change to:
- Explore options for your visitation schedule
- Negotiate a schedule and agreement with the other parent
- Show your attorney schedules that you like
- Prepare sample schedules and plans for mediation
- Make a schedule and plan to present in court
The laws pertaining to child custody and visitation in the State of Wyoming can be found in the Wyoming Statutes, Chapter 20, Domestic Relations.
It is important to become familiar with these laws prior to developing your child visitation schedule so that you may possess the knowledge necessary to create a plan the court will accept.
The law explains the criteria the court uses to determining child custody and visitation, defines some of the terms used by the court, and explains the objectives the court must meet when ordering visitation.
When you use the law as a tool when creating your schedule, it should give you an advantage in your case.
Whenever litigation involving the custody of children is brought before the court in the State of Wyoming, the court has the right to make orders for custody and visitation as it deems appropriate.
When the court makes an order for visitation in the State of Wyoming, there are a few objectives that must be met that you should keep in mind (20-2-202):
- The order for visitation must be created in the best interest of the child.
- The order for visitation must be created in a manner that is easy to understand and is detailed enough that it may be complied with and enforced.
- The order of visitation should contain an allocation of the expenses incurred from the transportation of the child between exchanges.
- The order for visitation should contain a statement that requires either parent to provide the other parent and the court with thirty days advanced notice whenever that parent intends to move and relocate the child. The address of the new residence along with the date the move is expected to occur should also be included.
The court does not favor one parent over the other based on gender (20-2-201.b).
Mothers and fathers are both afforded equal rights to the custody of their child, and you will both be encouraged to play an active role in your child's life and to participate in raising your child.
The parent that is "favored" is the parent who has been a good, loving, nurturing parent and had been active in the child's life. It could be either or both of you.
The best way to ensure this is to create a child visitation schedule that is made in the best interest of your child and provides him or her with frequent, ongoing contact with both of you.
The court considers all relevant factors when determining the best interest of the child, including, but not limited to (2-20-201.a):
- The quality of the relationships between the child and each parent
- The parents' willingness, desire, and capacity to perform parenting responsibilities
- The mental and physical health of each parent
- The custodial preferences of the parents and of the child
- The child's relationships with any other persons of significance in the child's life, such as any siblings, grandparents, other relatives, or friends
- What impact the proposed visitation schedule would have on the child's relationships
- The child's adjustment to his or her home, school, church, and community
- Whether or not maintaining or disrupting the child's environment would have a positive or negative effect on the child
- How well the parents are able to communicate and cooperate with each other on matters concerning the child
- Whether or not each parent is willing comply with a visitation order
- Whether or not each parent is willing and able to help foster a good relationship between the child and the other parent
- The proximity of the parents' homes to each other and the child's school as it pertains to the feasibility of executing a visitation schedule
- Whether or not a parent has been abusive or neglectful to the child or any other person
- Any negative behavior of a parent that has been or may be detrimental to the health, well-being, and best interests of the child
What is in the best interest of the child should ultimately determine the specifications of the visitation schedule.
Unless supervised or restricted visitation is necessary, the child visitation schedule should include:
- A residential schedule that specifies when the child will spend time with each parent on a regular, ongoing basis. The availability of the parents should be a factor when determining this schedule. The child should be given the optimal amount of time with each parent.
- A holiday schedule that provides the child with an equitable amount of time with each parent for holidays and special occasions such as birthdays, Mother's Day, and Father's Day. It is common for parents to rotate the holidays throughout the year, alternating them in even and odd years.
- A vacation schedule or provisions for spending vacation time with the child, such as the amount of advanced notice that should be given, the allotted length of the vacation time, and whether out of state (or country) travel is permitted.
- Provisions about how the parents will implement and maintain the schedule.
Some common provisions that can help your schedule work are:
- Information about the how you will handle the costs of transporting your child for visitation
- A process for making changes to the schedule
- A process for how you will approve extra-curricular events for your child
- Whether or not non-parents will be able to exchange your child
- Provisions for any issues you feel may be relevant
These provisions go along with the schedule so that there are enough details for you to follow and implement the schedule. They can be very useful, and you should think about what will help your particular situation and add provisions to make things run more smoothly.
The top ten cities in Wyoming (by population, US Census Bureau, 2008) are: Cheyenne, Casper, Laramie, Gillette, Rock Springs, Sheridan, Green River, Evanston, Riverton, Cody.