For children in Florida and elsewhere, the entire process of a divorce can be confusing and worrisome as they wonder how the future will play out. A common challenge is the visitation schedule. Custody and visitation are frequent sources of disagreements, so it is important to have a viable plan.
As part of the custody determination, how much time a child will spend with each parent requires compromise and organization. The child’s age is a factor to consider. Even if the parents are sharing the child 50-50, the schedule should be workable for the parents and the child. Equal time with the child is perceived as a positive strategy to provide social, emotional and physical benefits.
Typically, people believe that a child alternating weeks with each parent is optimal, but that is not always so. Alternate weeks means the child will not see his or her other parent for a full week. This can cause separation anxiety and other negative feelings. Alternating weeks might succeed if the child is 12 or older. Younger children generally need more frequent contact with both parents.
Scheduling alternatives could be 2-2-3 with the child alternating two days, two days and three days with the parents. A 3-4-4-3 schedule might be easier to navigate as there will be less urgency to rush back and forth while sparing the parents from needing to have too much contact with each other. Then there is the longstanding practice of the child spending the workweek with one parent and then the weekend with the other parent. Summer vacations and holidays should be factored in. Determining custody and visitation schedules can be difficult. If there are complications, or help is needed with any aspect of the case, legal guidance may be beneficial for coming to a satisfactory resolution.