Fremont Divorce Lawyer Discusses The Rainbow of Visitation Schedules
This morning, I had a case where the parents were on a complicated visitation schedule that involved an exchange nearly every day. Neither parent particularly loved this schedule, but neither parent wanted to lose time. The challenge to parents who are divorcing, or who never were married but have kids together is how to craft a visitation schedule that is both workable, beneficial, and enjoyable.
As an attorney, I recommend that parties work together whenever possible to create a visitation schedule everyone can live with. In California, parties are required to attend mediation over any custody or visitation dispute. The goal is to get the parties to put their personal interests aside, and consider what is in their children’s best interests. I also recommend the parties reduce everything to writing because that minimizes conflict.
A popular timeshare or visitation arrangement for many families is the alternate weekend and one overnight a week plan. This is popular for a reason: stability, consistency, and plenty of time. It’s not quite a 50-50 plan, but it provides large blocks of time less often over small blocks more frequently. For working parents, its also the most reasonable – spend the time when you are not at work with your children. This schedule also seems to work for a variety of ages of children.
For parents seeking a more even split of time, people often request a 50/50 plan. 50/50 can mean many things, depending on your situation. For some families, a 2-2-3 schedule works: 2 days to Mom, 2 days to Dad, then the weekend alternates (Fri-Sun) between parents, so Week 1 – Monday and Tuesday are Mom’s Day, Wednesday and Thursday are Dad’s days, and the weekend is Mom’s. Week 2 Monday-Thursday is the same as Week 1, but the weekend belongs to Dad. Both parents get extended weekends with the kids, with Mom getting Friday to Tuesday one week, and Dad getting Wednesday-Sunday the next. Still other families prefer an week on – week off schedule, where Week 1 is Dad’s and Week 2 is Mom’s.
The most important thing to consider in a visitation schedule is what is the best interests of the children. In fact, that is the standard the court uses. So consider the children’s ages, maturity, school schedules, health issues and the location of the parties. What works for one family may not work for another.
Here at Sagaria Law, we offer a full range of family law legal services, from divorce and property disputes to custody and visitation matters. We handle all types of family law actions, including adoptions, guardianships, parentage, dissolution and support. We have five Northern California locations including San Jose, Redwood City, Fremont, Salinas and Sacramento. We offer a free thirty minute consultation, either in person at any of our offices, or over the phone. Call our offices today to schedule your free consultation with one of our family law attorneys: (408) 279-2288 or (800) 941-6730 or visit www.sagarialaw.com