When married couples with children divorce, they must determine who will be the primary caregiver. If a judge awards full custody to one parent, the children will reside with that parent most of the time. The other parent is typically provided with some child visitation rights. While going through the divorce process, many couples wonder how much visitation is normally granted.

There are several types of visitation rights and joint custody is popular because it features some flexibility. When parents receive joint custody, they decide the visitation schedule. The goal is to allow the children to spend time separately with each parent. Reasonable visitation can occur during joint custody or when one parent is granted sole custody. The parents determine reasonable places and times for children to visit one or both parents, developing a schedule that may change daily or weekly.

Fixed visitation involves a consistent schedule determined by the parents or the court. If one parent is awarded sole custody and the other is considered a threat or dangerous to the child, supervised visitation with a third party present, such as a counselor or therapist, may be the only acceptable arrangement.

In an amicable divorce, parents may make a mutual decision regarding visitation rights. If the parents are not in agreement, a judge will make the visitation decision. All parties involved must testify and factors like testimony from the child, which parent serves as the primary caregiver to-date, and the criminal background of the parents may carry weight. One or both parents may petition to change the visitation agreement by revisiting the judge who initially made the decision.

In most cases, the mother is awarded primary custody and the father is granted either another form of custody or some visitation rights. Most states award the equivalent of 20 percent of total parenting time as scheduled visitation for the non-custodial parent. This may be scheduled various ways, based on what works for the family. For example, one weeknight each week, every other weekend, some holidays, or a two to six-week period during the summer.

Establishing a consistent routine is important for children of any age, especially those who are products of divorced families. Many couples seek the assistance of a child visitation lawyer when determining the visitation schedule. This legal professional fights for visitation rights for a client, helping the parent to get the time he or she deserves to spend with the child.

3 thoughts on “How Much Child Visitation is “Normal?””

  1. I share custody with the Paternal Grandma, whose son is the Father of the 8 year old girl of whom we share custody. The Mother is very unstable and has supervised visitation. The Dad has had supervised but now wants unsupervised visitation . My question is can’t we try to work something out without going to court? I am willing to let him have unsupervised now. IT is 6 years since court order and he has become more reliable. But I am wondering, who he answers to when it comes to taking her off. As it is he gets to see her a lot since he lives with his Mom. The child is at their house from Friday at 4 to Saturday at about 5, so that I can can do supervised visitation with the mother for a few hours. Then the child goes back to the grandma’s and dad’s house Sunday after I take child to church until about 8 Sunday evening. The grandma also takes child after work on Tues till about 8 pm. Child just turned 8 and we might have to change that during this coming school year because she will be going to a harder private school and will probably have more homework during week. The dad wants to be able to take her off but I am wondering if it is kosher for me to ask that it be while she is at his Moms house and that he call me and let me know where they will be? I mean, since his mom has joint custody, do I have to let her be the one to monitor that or can I ask to be informed of where he is taking her. I would rather come to an agreement than go to court. I also do supervised custody with the actual Mom on Thursdays also. I seem to be back and forth with letting them see her already. Bottom line is child sees Grandma on Tues afternoon and evening , Fri and Sat till 530 and Sunday from 2 till 8pm. She sees her Mom on Thursday evening from 530 to 8 and SAt evening from 530 to 8. Now he wants to take her off. I am hoping it he will agree to hours he is already over at his mom’s, her grandma’s house. Any help?

  2. I let my ex see his daughter every other weekend and he is supposed to take her out to dinner once a week as well. He is now threatening to take more time with my daughter, he wants visitation 2-weekdays every week also, and to have her overnight even. She has school and he lives almost 20 miles away so this would be bad for her schedule. What are my rights to stopping this visitation?

    1. Sharon, one thing to keep in mind when dealing with visitation is that judges and courts do want both parents to have a significant impact in a child’s life. Your reservation about your daughter needing to get to school and him wanting to have parenting time is a good argument against this type of arrangement. Judges do not like to mess with a child’s school schedule and having visitation times in the middle of the week, and unless the parties live very close to each other, is generally frowned upon. Speak to a local attorney about your options for fighting this by filling out the form on this page for a free consultation and good luck!

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