Some couples have a more relaxed approach to summer visitation with children than others. In fact, some couples work together very well, often planning their vacations around each partner’s schedule and allowing for some flexibility. Unfortunately, these couples seem to be in the minority. Most couples have at least some conflict over scheduling visitation and need to operate on a well-defined schedule.
Here are some things you can do to prevent conflict with your former spouse if you share custody of children and must arrange a visitation schedule:
- Work together when possible. If you approach most problems from the viewpoint of what is best for the children rather than what benefits you, it may be easier to work with your former spouse.
- Be on time. One of the biggest factors that causes former spouses to deny visitation or even to file with the court for intervention is not taking “on time” pickup and drop off seriously. Unless there is a genuine emergency, you should always be five minutes early, if possible, for both pickup and drop off. If you are going to be late, a simple phone call or email to your former spouse is common courtesy.
- Be courteous. The shoe may be on the other foot one day, so try not to overreact if your former spouse is less than punctual or needs to swap weekends. Allowing for occasional changes and remaining flexible makes you a better co-parent.
- Keep records. However, that does not mean that you should allow your former spouse to play fast and loose with the visitation schedule. Changing your plans once or twice is being polite; changing them every week is a problem. Keep records of the schedule changes so that if you must seek legal redress you have a good way to show what has occurred.
- Have a plan. The best way to prevent visitation problems is to have a well-crafted agreement that clearly outlines how holidays, summer vacations and other visits are handled. With a good agreement, both partners are aware of and agree to all aspects of the visitation plan and have support to enforce the visitation schedule.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to work with you to create a workable solution to your visitation issues. Contact the Men’s Legal Center today to learn how they can help you deal with child visitation and custody issues.