Couples who have minor children and who are going through a divorce have many different concerns as the case proceeds through the family law court system. Both soon-to-be ex-spouses may be worried about how long the divorce case might take — which is usually longer when children are involved. They may also both be worried about the costs involved in the divorce. But, primarily, the parents, despite their own disagreements, usually want what is best for the children. The problem is, the parents oftentimes do not agree on what that is.
Visitation issues, in particular, can be difficult to address. Unless the divorcing spouses work out some type of arrangement on their own that they both feel is mutually beneficial, it will be up to the family court judge to decide child custody and visitation issues. While joint custody is the preference, that is not always possible. Sometimes, one parent will get primary custody and the other will get visitation rights.
It may be easiest for all involved to set up a “fixed” schedule for visitation. This could look like, for example, a couple of hours on two weeknights each week and then a full weekend every other weekend. The arrangement will be different for any given family, depending on their own obligations.
However, many divorcing couples, especially those with older, teenage children, understand that schedules change frequently. These couples can agree to maintain some flexibility in the visitation schedule, but endeavor at all times to keep things “reasonable.” But, the divorcing spouses will need to be capable of a civil post-divorce relationship if this is to be an option.