Idaho Custody and Visitation Schedules
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.
When writing a child visitation schedule or any document pertaining to child custody and visitation in the State of Idaho, it is important to be familiar with the laws of the State so you may comply with them when submitting the schedule or other documentation to the courts.
The Idaho Statutes, Title 32, (Domestic Relations), Chapter 7, (Divorce Actions), contains the laws relating to the custody of a child. The laws set forth in the section also pertain to non-married couples and any other parties seeking custody of a child.
Understanding these laws will help you create a schedule that complies with the laws in Idaho and identify the factors the court considers when ruling on child custody cases.
Prior to writing the child visitation schedule, it is important to be aware of the various types of custody in the State of Idaho, (as found in Idaho Statutes Section 32-717B), and what they mean:
- Joint custody means that custody of the child is awarded to both of the parents. Physical custody of the child is shared in a manner that ensures the child will have meaningful, continuing, and frequent contact with each parent. The court may award the parents joint physical custody of the child or joint legal custody of the child or both, as the court sees fit and deems in the best interest of the child.
- Joint physical custody means that each of the parents are awarded significant periods of time in which the child is in the parents' physical care and supervision. Parents are to share time with the child in a manner that ensures ongoing and frequent contact with the child, but it does not necessarily mean that the child is to spend equal amounts of time with each parent or be subject to alternating back between the parents for periods of time. The court shall determine the actual amount of time the child spends with each parent.
- Joint legal custody means that the parents shall share authority in the decision-making rights and responsibilities relating to the medical, educational, and general welfare of the child.
- Sole custody means that only one parent has custody of the child, whether it is sole physical custody, sole legal custody, or both.
You will need to establish what type of custody you each shall have as a primary step of creating your schedule.
It is the position of the State of Idaho and the District Courts in Idaho that joint custody is in the best interests of the child except in cases where there is evidence of domestic violence or other evidence such as substance abuse or any other evidence that a parent may be detrimental to the child's health and welfare (Idaho Statutes 32-717B [4-5]).
Although joint physical custody does not necessarily entitle the parents to equal parenting time, it is important to create a schedule that guarantees that your child is able to spend ample time with both of you. Just because you are no longer together doesn't mean your child doesn't need both a mother and a father.
Your child's visitation schedule should be written in a manner that reflects the needs of your child and the capabilities and availability of the parents. Working with the other parent may prove difficult, but mutually agreeing upon a visitation schedule is ultimately in your child's best interests.
By compromising, you can create a schedule far superior to one the court might appoint, as you are intimately familiar with your child and his or her schedule and needs, and the court is not.
If you cannot reach an agreement on your own you will be subject to attend court ordered mediation in an effort to resolve your differences.
There are three basic elements to a child visitation schedule in the State of Idaho:
- A basic residential schedule which is the day to day, ongoing schedule that dictates when the child will spend time with each parent
- A holiday schedule which should include all holidays and special days, such as birthdays, Mother's Day and Father's Day, and can even have arrangements for three day weekends
- A vacation schedule which may be less specific as far as dates are concerned, but should have the method in which to notify the other parent of a vacation and to allot each parent extended periods of time with the child during school breaks
- Provisions can be included in a parenting agreement to provide a method in which to modify the schedule in the future as the needs of the child change in the future
Yes. The State of Idaho has provisions in place for grandparents and great-grandparents wishing to have visitation rights with a child.
The court may grant reasonable visitation rights to a grandparent or great-grandparent provided that it can be proved that such visitation would be in the child's best interests (Idaho Statutes 32-719).
Should a grandparent petition the court for visitation, you may want to have a suggested time for visitation with the grandparent prepared and accounted for in your child visitation schedule, just in case.
In the event the court awards visitation to a grandparent, the court will consider the suggested time and may agree to it instead of just mandating a time that may be inconvenient for you or your child.
You may request that your child have visitation time with a maternal grandparent during the mother's parenting time and/or spend time with the paternal grandparent during the father's parenting time.
Your child's needs and welfare are the court's first priority and all parts of your schedule need to be made with the best interest of your child in mind.
Section 32-717 provides some factors to think about as you decide what is best for your child. Many of these will influence how you schedule parenting time and holidays in your schedule:
- The wishes of both parents regarding the custody of the child and the wishes of the child regarding where he/she will live
- The relationship of the child with each parent and with the child's siblings
- The child's adjustment and involvement in home, school, and community
- The character and circumstances of all individuals involved
- The need of the child for continuity and stability
- If there has been any history of domestic violence (whether or not in the presence of the child)
Thinking about these factors can help you come up with a good custody and visitation schedule for your child.
This will help your child because your child will more quickly adapt to the new family situation and feel more confident and comfortable with what is going on. This will then help you be able to focus on parenting and not having to worry about the particulars of the schedule.
The top thirteen cities in Idaho (by population, US Census Bureau, 2008) are: Boise City, Nampa, Meridian, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Coeur d'Alene, Caldwell, Twin Falls, Lewiston, Rexburg, Post Falls, Moscow, Eagle.