Parenting plans and schedules are unique to each family. If your California family’s custody arrangement is to have one parent as the primary caretaker and the other parent with visitation rights, you will need to figure out a visitation schedule that works for your family and allows the children to continue developing their relationship with the non-custodial parent.
Factors to consider when creating a visitation schedule
Creating a visitation schedule involves several factors that will affect when and for how long the children are with their non-custodial parent. Visitation time is usually at least 20% of parenting time, although for some families this amount is higher. Some of these factors include:
- The children’s ages and needs
- The parents’ schedules
- Distance between the parents’ homes
What does a basic visitation schedule look like?
A basic visitation plan will often include overnight visits every other weekend and one evening visit each midweek. It can also include extended visits during the summer holidays. Additionally, it might include visits during some of the other holidays and special days.
Things to keep in mind
The basic visitation schedule might not work for your family and that is okay. You can choose a different breakdown of visitation time. You might also choose to have more visitation than the minimum so that both parents are more involved in their children’s day-to-day life. While the routine of a custody and visitation schedule that is followed is essential for stability, both parents should also be flexible when it comes to emergencies and infrequent last minute changes, as both parents might benefit from this flexibility at some point.
Working together with your child’s other parent and keeping the lines of communication open and respectful will help you create the best plan for your family. However, you should also remember that as families grow and change, the visitation plan might need to be revisited.