Standard Visitation Schedules

It's common practice for family courts to impose a generic schedule when parents are unable to negotiate a custody schedule.

However, some courts do not officially have a standard visitation schedule. If yours doesn't, you can create a schedule to suggest to the judge. Consider asking a mediator or divorced parents in your area for suggestions.

Even if your court does use a standard schedule, you may be able to suggest an alternative to the judge. The court's goal is to issue a plan that benefits the child and works for your family.

Child custody rules, including those for visitation, vary by jurisdiction. Research your local custody guidelines for specifics.

Custody X Change is software that creates standard and custom custody schedules.

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Components of a standard visitation schedule

The purpose of a visitation schedule is to establish a routine in which the child spends time with each parent. Once a schedule is approved or assigned by the judge, it becomes part of a court order that both parents are legally obligated to follow.

Visitation schedules consist of three basic components.

Residential schedule

The residential schedule (also called the regular schedule) determines which parent cares for the child day to day. It should provide the child with frequent, ongoing contact with both parents. Visits repeat in cycles to give the child structure and stability.

If it's unsafe for the child to be alone with a parent, the court may order supervised visitation.

If distance makes it difficult for a parent to see the child on a regular basis, you need a long-distance residential schedule.

Holiday schedule

A holiday schedule details where the child spends holidays and special occasions.

These holidays may include:

  • New Year's Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Easter
  • Mother's Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Father's Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Eve
  • The child's birthday
  • The parents' birthdays

In a standard holiday schedule, parents typically alternate who has the child on a particular holiday. For example, the mother could have the child on Thanksgiving in even years and the father could have the child on Thanksgiving during odd years.

If you create your visitation schedule using Custody X Change, the software automatically recognizes that holidays supersede the residential schedule. In other words, the parent who's assigned the holiday gets the time regardless of the residential schedule.

Vacation schedule

A vacation schedule sets out where the child spends school breaks. Standard visitation schedules typically give the noncustodial parent additional time with the child during winter, spring and summer breaks.

Sample visitation schedule

Standard visitation schedules may vary, but they usually don't much. Here's a sample schedule from Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

The noncustodial parent shall have the child:

  • Every other weekend from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Sunday
  • Every Wednesday from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
  • Easter, in even years, from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Sunday
  • July 4th, in even years, from 6 p.m. on July 3rd until 6 p.m. on July 5th
  • Fall break, in even years, from the time school lets out until 7:30 p.m. the night before school resumes
  • Thanksgiving, in even years, from 6 p.m. on Wednesday until 7:30 p.m. on Sunday
  • New Year's Day, in odd years, from noon until 9 p.m.
  • Spring break, in odd years, from the time school lets out until 7:30 p.m. the night before school resumes
  • Memorial Day, in odd years, from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Monday
  • Labor Day, in odd years, from 6 p.m. on Friday until 6 p.m. on Monday
  • Christmas vacation, in odd years, from 6 p.m. on the day school lets out until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve
  • Christmas vacation, in even years, from 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve until 6 p.m. on New Year's Day
  • The day before the child's birthday, in odd years, from the time school (or daycare) gets out until 9 p.m. — or, if the day before the child's birthday falls on a weekend, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The child's birthday, in even years, from the time school (or daycare) gets out until 9 p.m. — or, if the child's birthday falls on a weekend, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • Summer vacation for a period of 30 days every year
  • Liberal telephone communication with the child
  • Further visitation as agreed upon by the parents

In addition:

  • The child shall spend Mother's Day with the mother from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The child shall spend Father's Day with the father from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.
  • The child shall spend each parent's birthday with that parent from the time school lets out until 9 p.m. — or, if the birthday falls on a weekend, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

The easiest way to make a visitation schedule

You may be creating a schedule to suggest to the judge in place of a standard schedule. Or perhaps you're just turning the standard schedule into calendar form.

Either way, the Custody X Change app takes the guesswork out of the equation by helping you build a schedule piece by piece. Choose a template, then customize it for your situation.

In minutes, you'll have a written schedule and a visual calendar that meet the court's standards.

For quick, reliable and affordable help making a visitation schedule, turn to Custody X Change.

Custody X Change is software that creates standard and custom custody schedules.

Make My Parenting Schedule Now

Custody X Change is software that creates standard and custom custody schedules.

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Custody X Change is software that creates standard and custom custody schedules.

Make My Parenting Schedule Now

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