Home Child Visitation FAQ Can Parents Devise Their Own Schedule?

Can Parents Devise Their Own Schedule?

Can Parents Devise Their Own Schedule?

In most cases, parents must follow a court-ordered visitation schedule. However, in certain situations, parents may be able to devise their own visitation schedule. In this article, we will explore the circumstances under which parents can create their own visitation schedule, the benefits of doing so, and the potential drawbacks.

What is a Court-Ordered Visitation Schedule?

A court-ordered visitation schedule is a legally binding arrangement that outlines when the non-custodial parent can visit with their child. This schedule is typically put in place as part of a divorce or custody proceeding and is decided by a judge.

When Can Parents Devise Their Own Visitation Schedule?

In some cases, parents may be able to create their own visitation schedule if both parties agree. This typically occurs in situations where the relationship between the parents is relatively amicable and they are able to work together effectively to create a schedule that works for all parties involved.

Benefits of Creating Your Own Visitation Schedule

There are several benefits to creating your own visitation schedule, including:

1. Increased flexibility: A court-ordered visitation schedule may not be flexible enough to accommodate each parent’s work schedule or other obligations, leading to conflicts. By creating their own schedule, parents can work together to develop a plan that is mutually beneficial and maximizes both parents’ time with the child.

2. More control: Creating your own visitation schedule allows parents to have more control over their visiting time, leading to a more satisfying and positive experience for both the parents and the child.

3. Reduced stress: When parents work together to create a visitation schedule, it can lead to a reduction in stress and tension between them, ultimately benefiting the child.

Potential Drawbacks
While it may be tempting for parents to create their own visitation schedule, there are potential drawbacks to doing so, including:

1. Lack of legal enforceability: If a parent fails to follow a voluntary visitation agreement, there may be little legal recourse available. In contrast, court-ordered visitation schedules carry the full weight of the law, making them easier to enforce.

2. Potential for conflict: If the relationship between parents deteriorates after they have established a voluntary visitation schedule, conflicts may arise if one parent feels that they are not getting enough time with the child.


While court-ordered visitation schedules are typically the norm, parents may have the option to create a voluntary schedule if they are willing to work together. Doing so can lead to increased flexibility, reduced stress, and more control over the visitation experience. However, parents must be aware of the potential drawbacks and should consider seeking legal guidance before making any decisions. Ultimately, the well-being of the child should be the top priority.

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.