Coping With Overnight Visitation Away From Your Kids

Divorce is a time of enormous changes and when children are involved, these changes tend to be more severe. Drafting a visitation agreement is difficult but adhering to it can be downright painful, especially in the beginning. Whether one parent has primary custody or ex-spouses share custody of their children, times when the children are visiting the other parent can be very difficult to handle. Its true, coping with overnight visitation away from your kids can be extremely painful and difficult. Speaking with an experienced custody attorney will help soften the blow by laying out your rights.

Though every parent enjoys having some time to themselves, adults can also feel lost when their children are not staying with them. Every member of the family has some difficulty becoming comfortable with the new schedule, so patience and flexibility are required by all. The most difficult aspect of the parenting plan is usually the child visitation schedule.

There is no correct way to react to a visitation arrangement and many parents experience a wide range of overwhelming emotions, especially when it comes to dealing with overnight visitation away from your children. Each adult should take time to handle the situation in his or her own way, accepting the emotions and dealing with these as best as possible. Some emotions that surface, such as negative feelings about an ex or excitement about having alone time, can lead to guilt, which is perfectly normal. do not beat yourself up over this; in a normal relationship, the other parent is there to take some of the burden off raising the kids full-time, and overnight visitation away from your kids is something that is necessary.

Some parents even feel resentful or angry toward their children because the youngsters have fun with the other parent, make the situation difficult, or express no worry about leaving for a while. Having these feelings does not mean that the parent is bad. The key is to accept them and work through them in a healthy way. Parents who cannot seem to come to terms with the visitation agreement should get professional help from a therapist. Overnight visitation can be even more difficult to deal with, because the other parent may be able to plan fun activities all the time since their parenting time is only every once in awhile.

It can be very helpful for divorced parents to have someone to share their thoughts and feelings with and receive ways of working through problems and discovering solutions in exchange. Taking each day as it comes prevents parents from feeling overwhelmed and makes it easier to cope with these overnight visitation periods. The adults should shift their focus away from resentment and anger to what they can do to move forward and make it through the day in a positive manner.

There will be days when a parent misses children who are visiting with their other parent. During these times, thoughts should turn to how the arrangement is healthy and important for the children. Parents can find things to distract themselves while children are staying with their exes. They can even email, text, or call their children as long as they keep the conversation lighthearted. Remembering that overnight visitation away from your kids is both healthy for them and you is an important step in coping with life change. Speaking with a child visitation or child custody attorney is important to make sure that any agreement drafted meets your needs.

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About the Author
Nicholas Baker is a practicing family law attorney with over a decade of experience handling divorce, child custody, child support, and domestic violence matters in the courtroom. Attorney Nicholas Baker believes in providing family law information for individuals so that they can make an informed decision about their own family law matter.
  1. Karen Reply

    I was in a relationship for 10 years (engaged) and I’m temporary living at my parents house so that I can take myself and the kids out of a relationship that isn’t stable. I know now that it’s not good for them to see me cry and fight with my fiance’ everyday so with the temporary leave I’m trying to not only find myself but take them to a more stable lifestyle even if it’s crowded. It breaks my heart to know that our son who’s 8 doesn’t want to call him (and daughter who’s 2 doesn’t really know what’s going on) and me or my parents have to dial the phone to get him to talk with his father. And this past night our son was back and fourth on staying the night with his dad, should I push him to keep a relationship with his dad? Or would that back fire on me? I seriously didn’t even want to leave in the first place but my fiance’ makes it very difficult to reason, and will add a negative comment about how I’m reacting to this temporary situation. I just don’t know how to have my fiance’ understand that I’m not like his ex-wife, I don’t want to use the kids against him. Our kids love him when they are there with him. But at the same time I’m afraid to restore our family together because when I don’t do exactly what he says he becomes unreasonable, I get angry or upset and then he gets negative towards me and my family, because according to him, my family is taking me and the kids away from him. Which is not our intention. They just want me and the kids to live a stable, happy lifestyle that’s all; and my parents are willing to help us no matter what. And I’ll even go as far as to say that there’s mental abuse there, and I love him and the kids so much but I’m afraid that he doesn’t want to admit how he treats us (me mainly).

    • familylawrights Reply

      KAren, this situation is very typical of many women out there, you should not feel alone. Understanding what makes a person tick is what is important when dealing with forcing your kids to have overnight visitation with their dad. On the one hand, you may have a court order requiring you to hand over the children for overnight visitation with their father, but on the other hand, the kids may not want to go. If there is a court order, I must tell you to obey it, and get help immediately to change the order to something that works for you and the children. Obviously, having their father in their lives is a good thing, as long as he is not being abusive to them or is mistreating them in a serious way. Speak with an attorney, its the only way to really dig in to these details deep and figure out whats best for you, good luck!

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