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Creative Visitation Schedules for School Age Children and Teenagers

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 250

When we were children (back in the 1900's) child visitation schedules were fairly simple. Unless parents were able to create a schedule of their own, child visitation typically consisted of the children living with one parent (usually the mother) and having visitation with the other parent every other weekend.

Today, many courts still use that old traditional custody schedule when parents are unable to agree on one, though some courts may have their own standard schedules. These schedules are given to parents who are unable or unwilling to work out a custody schedule on their own.

In most cases, the court will accept a visitation schedule created by the parents as long as the court finds it is in the best interest of the child to do so. You don't have a generic child so you shouldn't accept having a generic schedule. You can be as creative and unique as you want when making your visitation schedule. It is important to try to work something out with the other parent so the court doesn't decide your child's schedule for you.

Once you decide what kind of custody you will have, the next thing to do when making a visitation schedule for a school age child or teenager is to evaluate your circumstances. Will your child be able to get back and forth to school regardless of which parent's home she is staying at? What are each of your work schedules like? Does your child have any other siblings that may have visitation with another parent? What kind of extracurricular activities does your child participate in? Think about everything in your child's life and try to work out a schedule that will give him the optimal amount of time with each parent.

Here are some examples to inspire ideas for your schedule:

  • The parents alternate every other weekend and the non-primary parent gets additional visitation one or two days per week.
  • The child spends four days with Parent A and three days with Parent B, then three days with Parent A and four days with Parent B.
  • The child spends five days with Parent A and two days with Parent B, then two days with Parent A and five days with Parent B.
  • The child spends the school year with Parent A and spends two days per week with the Parent B. In the summer, the child lives with Parent B and spends two days per week with Parent A.
  • The child spends three weeks with Parent A and one week with Parent B per month while alternating weekends.
  • The parents alternate weekends but the child goes to Parent B's house every day after school until Parent A picks him up at a designated time.

Your child visitation schedule should provide your child with a predictable routine regardless of the way you decide you divide your child's time. It is a good idea to provide your child (and the other parent) with a calendar form of the schedule so everyone knows exactly when visitation will occur and everyone is on the same page. Creating a customized visitation schedule for your teenager or school age child is a great way to make sure her needs are being met and will make it easier for her adjust to the transition.

Kelly Turner is an advocate of children's custody rights. Kelly recommends Custody X Change to parents who need help creating a visitation schedule for school-age children or teenagers.

Source: EzineArticles
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