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Working out your visitation schedule and making the time count

When going through the divorce process, particularly when children are involved, you may find that you do not get everything you want in the end. For instance, some parents in Texas, instead of getting sole or shared custody of their kids as desired, end up with visitation time. While it may not be the ideal arrangement for you, you can still set up your visitation schedule in a way that works best for you and your children.

Why might I only get visitation time? What does the standard visitation schedule look like? How can I make the time I have count?

Reasons for visitation rather than custody

There are quite a few reasons as to why the court would grant visitation rather custody. A few of them are:

  • Child is very young
  • Child has special needs to consider
  • Parent work schedule
  • Parent living arrangements and location
  • Concerns over parent use of alcohol or other substances

At the end of the day, it all comes down to what is considered best for the children.

Standard schedule

There actually is not a standard schedule when it comes to visitation time. Every family has different needs. If awarded visitation, you should get your children about 20 percent of the time. This can be in the form of day visits, overnight stays, weekend visits or extended stays — such as a few weeks at a time. You may also get your kids over some holidays.

The details of your visitation schedule is something that you and your ex will have to work out. Once a plan is in place, putting it in writing is important as then it will be enforceable should your ex not follow through. As life happens, being flexible when changes are necessary can go a long way. However, this does not mean that your ex can frequently disregard your time with your kids. This is your time to bond with your children.

Making it count

After you get your visitation schedule going, you can make it count by simply being there for your children. It may not be the custody arrangement that you wanted, but you can help your kids adjust to it by making their time with you the best it can be. Setting a schedule and rules for when they are at your home can help them feel more at home while they are with you. Planning activities that you all enjoy can make the time they have with you memorable.

Do your best

Parenting is a hard gig. It is even more difficult to get a handle on when you only get to see your children every so often. With help, you can achieve a visitation schedule that works for you and your children. From there, all you can do is do your best to make the best of the situation.

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