Tips For Establishing Visitation Schedule
Unfortunately, divorce is generally an unhappy event. It is important to remember that the dissolution of marriage not only affects parents, but the entire family, especially the children. Divorce can have significant negative impacts on a child’s physical, emotional and mental health, as well as a his/her education.* In efforts to help prevent this, divorced parents should be involved in their child’s life as much as possible to establish a sense of order and normalcy. Usually, older children are more capable of handling the stressors of divorce; however, babies and younger kids are not fully able to understand the process. For this reason, it can be particularly difficult to create a consistent schedule for a younger child when the parents live in different households, but establishing a routine for children at a young age is crucial to a healthy development.
According to the South Carolina Bar, judges believe that children will have the best and most healthy outcome growing up if they are constantly reminded that they have two parents who care deeply about them. If the parents are not able to agree about a visitation schedule, the judge will ultimately establish one while taking several factors into consideration. A judge usually will not deny or restrict a parent to visit his or her child unless he finds that the visitation is unhealthy or bad for the child.**
Establishing a visitation schedule for your children is often not easy, especially when your children are young. Listed below are some suggestions on how to make this process as smooth as possible:***
- Be Consistent
- Routines establish stability and order and are important in a child’s early stages of development. Moving around from home to home and changing schedules can be difficult on any child, which is why parents need to stick to the same schedule and routines. This will help the child to live a relatively normal and steady life.
- Keep Visits Short
- Since interactions between both parents are very important in a child’s development, most child psychologists suggest that parents split their parenting time with young children in 2 to 3-day increments so that the kids are able to spend as much time with each parent as possible.
- Open Communication
- As a parent, you never want to miss any major milestone in your child’s life. However, being a divorced parent can make this difficult to accomplish. If both parents keep each other up-to-date in their children’s’ lives, it will help prevent confusion or misunderstanding and encourage a positive co-parenting relationship.
Creating a parenting plan and visitation schedule is not easy, but an experienced family attorney can help this process to run as smoothly as possible. Our family law attorneys are available for comprehensive consultations tailored to your needs. To set up your appointment, simply call us (864) 523-7738 or contact us via our online form.