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Reasonable visitation: What’s best for your child?

When you go to court to have child custody determined, you may be assigned parental visitation. Visitation is the time you’re awarded to see your child when your child is not living in your home. If you and your ex-spouse can agree on a schedule to see the child, then you may be able to work out reasonable visitation times without the assistance of a court. If you can’t, then a judge may have to decide on a visitation schedule for you.

Determining your own schedule has its benefits. The schedule conforms to your work and activities, and you can decide on how much time is acceptable. If this is left to be determined by a judge, you may not feel as comfortable with the solution, which is why it’s potentially better to work with your attorney or a mediator to make a plan.

It’s important to know that if you’re asked to work out visitation times on your own, the judge will expect you to communicate and to be reasonable with your ex. The parent with custody will generally be in more control when it comes to deciding what reasonable visitation is.

If you are placed on a fixed visitation schedule, you will have a specific schedule of when you can see your child. For instance, the judge might decide that you can see your child on Sundays and Wednesdays all day, or he may say you can see your child for half the week each week. If there is still a conflict between you and your ex, this kind of schedule may be one of the better ways to make sure you see your child and have fewer conflicts about when you’re allowed to or not.

Source: FindLaw, “Parental Visitation Rights FAQ,” accessed Sep. 14, 2015

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