When some couples get divorced, they share custody of their children. In other situations, one parent is awarded primary custody and the other is granted visitation rights. Exactly how much child visitation should a parent expect to receive? The answer is not cut and dry because it depends on the family situation and dynamics.
Normal Amount of Visitation
Child custody decisions can be very difficult but they all boil down to what is best for the child. This requires delving into the pre-divorce standard of living and considering parental work obligations in light of the schedule of the child. When parents cannot agree on custody and visitation, they turn to a child visitation lawyer and in some cases, a family court, to help them work things out.
In current cases, most courts hesitate to award one parent sole custody. Doing so would limit the involvement of the other parent in the life of the child. If one parent is granted sole custody, the other parent typically shares legal custody for decision-making and receives ample visitation rights. This ensures that the non-custodial parent still receives a say in important life decisions affecting the child.
Since there is no “normal” amount of visitation, lawyers, mediators, and courts rely on parents for suggestions. Some parents know that they cannot juggle a full-time job and full-time childcare, while others are able to manage this with help from a babysitter. Each parent proposes a desired amount of visitation and the decision-makers review it to determine feasibility. In the best-case scenario, both parents receive the amount of visitation they request.
However, life does not typically go as planned, so having a child visitation lawyer can be helpful. This legal expert helps a client fight for the amount of visitation desired. The attorney may need to prepare a case to prove that a client can provide the desired level of support from both time and financial perspectives. When the case goes to court, the client receives the best chance of a positive outcome.
Some parents think they can do everything and a lawyer can help them create a more realistic picture. When clients realize that they are not able to handle sole custody without compromising the lives of their children, they will be more likely to share custody or visitation with the other parent. Getting a third party involved can also turn potentially explosive child custody and visitation situations into amicable negotiations. There is no “normal” amount of visitation, but keeping your relationship normal can be solved with careful planning.