During your marriage, you likely were able to see your kids every day of the week. Following a divorce, though, you must adjust to a new reality where your children live primarily with either you or your ex-spouse. You are not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, nearly a third of all children in the United States are living with an unmarried parent.
If you and your former spouse are working toward achieving what is best for your children, you may opt for a unique schedule that meets everyone’s needs. Whatever the circumstances, you probably could use some guidance on how to create a visitation agreement. If you are a noncustodial parent, you have a few options for drafting a visitation schedule. Here are three popular ones:
- Alternating weekends
If you work a normal 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. schedule Monday through Friday, opting for visitation on every other weekend may make sense. With this schedule, you see your kids on alternating weekends, perhaps from 6:00 p.m. on Friday until 6:00 a.m. on Monday.
- Alternating weekends plus one night per week
If you live near your child’s co-parent, you may be able to see your son or daughter during the week. By adding one night of the week, such as Wednesday, into your visitation schedule, you can have more time to spend with your little one.
- Alternating long weekends
If you want to see your children during the week, you do not have to pick a weeknight that falls in the middle of your workweek. Instead, consider extending your weekend visitation time. By taking the kids on either Fridays or Mondays of every other weekend, you have longer to spend with them in a single visit.
You may have flexibility to create a visitation schedule that works for you and your family. If you are new to shared custody, though, you have to start somewhere. By understanding common visitation schedules, you are more prepared to draft the best possible one for your situation.