Visitation may be called: Parenting time, Visitation period, Care giving opportunity, Custodial episode, Child timeshare.
Visitation should be the orderly transfer of the responsibility of care giving from one adult to another. Visitation can be as simple or as complex as your child going across town for a regular weekend, across country to a theme park or out of the country for a special vacation. Keep in mind that even children from families where their parents live together happily can get overstimulated or frightened by the idea of travel. The transition from one family home to the other causes disruptions to your child’s sense of security. This is particularly rough on visitation children. It stands to reason that traveling with them has to be done with serious planning and the ultimate flexibility. It is therefore a good idea to use refundable or flexible travel sources, so you can retain the option of canceling, postponing or changing plans at the last moment, if need be. You can’t avoid every situation that can cause travel-related meltdown that can trigger an emotional episode for your child. So do the best you can. Don’t expect the other parent to know or care about the challenges you face. Just make it happen for your child.
Residential parents should have the children’s schedule ready for the nonresidential parent.
Nonresidential parents should have telephone numbers ready for normal contact and emergency contact by the residential parent.
If there is more than one child and the opportunity arises, make separate plans for each child according to their developmental needs and abilities. A teenager will want more time with their friends or independent activity while a 10-year-old will want to do more things with you.
Reserve time to be alone with your children. You don’t need to go anyplace special but give them an opportunity to talk to you without any interruptions. Do something special with your children without anyone else around.
Allow life to go on as usual. Have your children accompany you as you fulfill your responsibilities and commitments. Encourage your children to become a part of that life-style.
Never have your children carry messages for you, especially ones that will upset the other parent. Talk with the other parent in private or on the telephone.
Never speak negatively about the opposition or their activities to the children.
Don’t question the children about the other parent’s activities or relationships.
Give your children chores or responsibilities while visiting with you at your home.
Establish and maintain boundaries for the children’s behavior. Discipline your children with love.
Your Interference, Your Visit
If your personal discomfort or strain at the thought of facing the other parent or inability to fit your children into your business or personal schedule keeps you from calling or spending time with your children, you are the person responsible for interfering with the visitation.
No excuses or explanations will satisfy your children or the courts, now or when dealing with your conscience later.
Each part of child custody visitation is difficult as evidenced by the book, “How to go to Visitation Without Throwing Up,” by Joshua Evans (11-year-old-author).
If you are the parent who will allow your children to access to all of the people the children love, you may need the Win Your Child Custody War available at CustodyWar.com and Amazon