Temporary 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 and parenting plans. You make each part of your schedule, and then you can print your calendar and plan.
A temporary visitation schedule is the schedule the parents will have to follow in order to have parenting time with their child.
At the onset of your custody or divorce proceedings, you will need to decide how much time your child will spend with each parent and create a child visitation schedule.
This schedule will be temporary and serve as your visitation schedule until a permanent visitation schedule is ordered when your divorce is finalized.
While it is possible to modify a temporary visitation schedule, doing so will require extra time in court and may incur additional attorney's fees if you have a lawyer. It is better to put a lot of thought into your plan from the onset of your case.
If you create a comprehensive, effective custody schedule from the beginning, you will save yourself time, money, and misery.
If you are able to work with the other parent when you create the temporary schedule, you can try to accommodate his or her parenting time requests and create a schedule you both agree to. This is not always possible, especially since filing for divorce can be an emotional, stressful, and even volatile time, but it is worth the attempt if you can reach an agreement.
If you are unable to reach an agreement, you will have to work it out in court. Most courts offer mediation to parents. In many jurisdictions, mediation is mandatory. You can attend mediation and try to work out solutions to your custody problems and come to an understanding.
If mediation fails and you are unable to mutually agree on a visitation schedule or parenting plan, the court will ultimately decide for you. This is why it is so important to make a good temporary visitation schedule.
When parents are unable to reach an agreement, the court is very likely to consider the existing temporary custody agreement and adopt it as the permanent schedule.
If you use Custody X Change to create your visitation schedule, you will be able to print out a visitation calendar and time share percentage reports for the other parent to review. This may help you reach an agreement as you can propose various schedules to the mediator and other parent.
Since it is quite possible that your temporary agreement shall become a permanent order, you will want to include all of the components of a regular custody schedule.
Your temporary visitation schedule should include:
A regular residential schedule: This is the regular, routine schedule that will determine when your child will spend time with each parent on an ongoing basis.
A vacation schedule: You may not be able to specify exact dates, but you will want to include provisions and stipulations that explain how much time each parent will have the child for vacations each year.
A holiday schedule: You will need to make arrangements for your child to spend time with each of you on holidays and special occasions.
Some of these days include, but are not limited to:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King Day / Weekend
- President's Day / Weekend
- Spring Break
- Mother's Day
- Father's Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving / Thanksgiving Break
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Winter Break
Specific religious holidays or any other days that you consider to be special occasions may be included in the holiday schedule.
You will need to devise a plan that allows your child to spend equitable time with each of you on the holidays. Many parents opt to take turns having the child on the various holidays in even and odd years.
For example, in years ending with an even number, the mother would have the child for Thanksgiving and the father would have the child for Christmas. In years ending in odd numbers, the father would have Thanksgiving and the mother would have Christmas.
You don't have to adopt the even / odd plan, but however you decide to divide the holidays; it should be fair and benefit the child.
The holiday schedule supersedes the regular visitation schedule so the regular schedule will be interrupted if one parent's designated holiday falls during the other parent's visitation time.
When you use Custody X Change to create your visitation schedule, all of the traditional holidays are included for you to choose from and you may also include your own special days.
A great thing about Custody X Change is the time share percentage report. This feature allows you to get an accurate picture of exactly how much time your child will spend with each parent.
There is no set formula that is the “magic number” that will ensure your visitation schedule will provide you child with the “correct” amount of time with each parent. Every situation is different and every child is unique.
You should consider your child's needs. Does it seem fair to your child to go two weeks in between visits with the other parent? Would you like to have to wait two weeks between visits with your child? Create the schedule according to the needs of your child and what is best for her.
Children need to have and benefit from having frequent, ongoing contact with both of their parents. You should evaluate your work schedules, your availability, and create a schedule that gives your child the opportunity to be raised by two parents. He should never have to feel like a “visitor”.