A couple’s parental visitation rights are sometimes left up to a family court to decide. This is if the parents are unable to come up with a mutually agreed-on plan.
However, if the parents are willing to compromise, then they can legally make their own child’s visitation schedule. Each parent generally has some form of child visitation rights and with more fathers taking an active role in their child’s life, it is more likely for a child visitation schedule to reflect this.
Deciding on a child visitation schedule that is acceptable to both parents can be very difficult. Many times, while a couple is making a child visitation schedule, a divorce is pending and there are bitter feelings involved.
Putting aside these feelings to work out a fair schedule that reflects the best interests of the child is necessary if a couple is set on making their own visitation schedule. Following standard parental visitation rights are important since any agreement must be officially submitted to the courts. The courts will review the agreement to make sure that child visitation rights have been met.
Parents who make their own visitation schedule must take each other’s needs into account. First, they have to decide which one of them will have the physical custody, meaning deciding which parent will have the child living with them most of the time.
If parents decide to split physical custody, that means that they will legally have joint custody of the child. The child will then split time between both homes. Parents also must decide which one of them will have legal custody. They may choose to split that as well. Child visitation rights allow for this, in fact, it is a common custody agreement.
An agreement should be written up, notarized, and submitted to the family court. While parental visitation rights do allow for a couple to make their own schedule, it still must be made into an official court order. This prevents any later confusion that may arise. It is not necessary to have a lawyer draw up an agreement, although it may be preferable. Writing the legal document is something that the parents can do themselves.
Parents should consider their own schedules as well when devising a schedule. While child visitation rights can be flexible, there is still the matter of work schedules and a child’s school schedule to take into account. A schedule should dictate where the child will be spending school nights, holidays, vacations, and summer breaks. Other issues that should be addressed are how major decisions for the child will be handled including medical and educational issues.