After separation or divorce, many parents are left with unanswered questions about child visitation. The end of any marriage relationship doesn’t mean that children’s life will stop. The law assumes that every child has to have a continuing relationship with the parents even after separation or divorce. Thus, they allow child visitation to the non-custodial parent. But, to avoid any conflict or issues that may arise, any visitation must have a schedule.
Creating A Visitation Schedule
If you plan to file divorce in Ontario and have children, you must make a parenting and visitations schedule. Having a checklist can help to consider important issues when coming up with the visitation plan. The main idea is to help your child move on and know how to live with separation or divorce. Child visitation has unique guidelines that have to be followed in all age groups. There are things to consider when creating a visitation schedule. They include:
Be in line with the state guideline visitation: If not sure of the guidelines, and you have a retained a divorce lawyer, the same lawyer can offer advice on how to go about child visitation according to the set laws.
Determine the type of visitation schedule you want: There are many types of visitation schedules you can choose from, such as supervised visitation, supervised or unsupervised visitation. Once you are sure of the kind of visitation, you can create a repeating child visitation schedule. Typically, a visitation schedule should include alternating weekends, holidays, or overnight visits, and other special day visitations such as birthdays.
State when the visitation will begin and end: For instance, the plan may state that any weekend visitation will start at 4:00 pm on Saturday and ends at 4:00 pm on Sunday. You and your former spouse can agree on the specific days to take the children on holiday or vacation. You can also choose to change the cycle once in a while if it’s appropriate.
Other factors to be considered when coming up with a child visitation schedule are:
Child age: Small kids need to see both parents often. Conversely, teenagers may not want to spend a lot of time with their parents as they need fun with others. Thus, they may not need a tight schedule.
Child temperament: Not every child is free with exchanges; therefore, parents should plan such visitation properly.
A child with special need: Any visitation for a child with special needs must cater in time for medical care, emotional support, among other issues that will not affect the child wellbeing.
It’s also important to note that child needs change over time. What is considered acceptable today may not be appropriate in years to come. Thus, the visitation schedule should be flexible too. Sometimes, it becomes tough to agree on child visitation. Not every parent is ready to come up with a reasonable visitation, especially when both parents have contested issues in their separation or divorce. When this happens, the court may order the custodial parent to remain with the child until further orders are made. If you cannot agree on how each parent is to spend time with the child, you may file a formal motion requesting the court to decide for you.
Modification Of Visitation Orders
The easiest way for both parents to have the court establish a visitation is to agree on the schedule. If parents cannot agree, more time and money is spent. If you decide to change the visitation order, you must do so without interfering with the child’s best interest. The court will adopt your new agreement according to the child visitation guidelines and change the existing order. The same case applies when one wants to modify the visitation order. If your existing visitation schedule doesn’t work, you have a right to modify it. It becomes easy to change if it is proven that:
- The other parent has always skipped most of the visitations with the child.
- One parent has to move out of state.
- There has been child abuse.
To change any visitation order, you must file a petition with the same court that handled your former visitation orders. For the change to be effected, it must in the best interest of the child. In such a case, the court will not be hesitant to make changes to the visitation order. It’s usually best for you and your child if you stick with the current schedule in line with child visitation guidelines. One way is to ensure that you don’t keep the non-custodial parent away from visiting the child.
Speak With An Experienced Family Lawyer Today
When you have children and want to have their best interest considered in the visitation plan, you may want to consider having a family lawyer help you come up with a visitation schedule. Again, a lawyer can help if there is a likelihood of disagreements with the other parent. If this happens, the court can enforce the orders. Your attorney can help secure the right plan that will be in your child’s best interest.