While child visitation laws do generally require a fair and balanced child visitation schedule between two parents, there are times when exceptions are made to that rule. Children sometimes have complaints about the child visitation schedule that must be followed up on. Some of their complaints may be minor and come as a result of teenage angst or bitterness towards the divorce, while others could potentially place a child's safety in serious doubt. It is up to the parent to take the child's concerns in mind when considering the child visitation schedule.
Visitation often disrupts a child's life and because of that, they can become especially resentful in the early stages of parental separation. While child visitation laws give each parent the right to play an active role in their child's life, there are times when a child has valid complaints about the situations that the child visitation schedule present. A parent should listen carefully to their child when they are deciding whether or not a child's complaints hold merit and should be brought up in family court or channeled through appropriate legal recourse. Contact a child visitation lawyer to consult your case.
If a child's complaints are minor, such as boredom or missing a certain primary home activity, those problems are easy to fix with proper communication. If there is a problem with the child visitation schedule, it may be possible to fix. While a parent should not let their child run the show, some complaints may be valid. If a child is missing important life experiences such as spending time with friends or participating in after school activities, then it may be in the child's best interest to have a new child visitation schedule.
Child visitation laws do require that the child visitation schedule be in the best interest of the child. Perhaps the best interest of the child would be to create a schedule that allows him or her to spend time with both parents, while still enjoying time to participate in after school activities and to have time with friends. Either way, a child should not be allowed to dictate the child visitation schedule, unless it is one that both parents are also happy with.
Of course a child visitation schedule also must reflect the lives of the parents. If one parent works weekends, it may be a good idea to set up a child visitation schedule that allows the child to spend time with them on weekdays. A good child visitation schedule also depends on a child's age. A newborn will obviously not be bothered about missing activities with friends, but they may not benefit from a constant change in routine.
A teenager may prefer to spend weekends with friends. In the end, it is the parents who control the child visitation schedule, but real concerns tend to arise later in a child's life as they grow more independent. This remains a double-edged sword, and if parents are willing to allow their children to only participate in visitation when they feel like it, they will violate child visitation laws, possibly being held in contempt of court and hurt the development of a balanced family life.
If the child's complaints are more serious such as accusations of abuse or drug use in the home, then the complaints must be investigated and taken very seriously. A parent should never make light of an accusation of that nature. In that case, they should petition the courts to investigate the situation as well as change the child visitation schedule. Clearly, certain events like this will often lead to the divorce in the first place and the primary goal of family court is to guarantee a safe growing environment.
A parent should use their best judgement when weighing their child's complaints about the child visitation schedule. There may be a serious problem. A parent should always hear their child's issues with the visits.