Following divorce or separation, not all parents achieve the level of child custody that they would like. Some parents in Massachusetts are only granted visitation time, even though the national trend is toward shared parenting — meaning as close to equal parenting time as circumstances warrant. Nevertheless, that goal doesn’t fit every family profile. When a parent is limited to visitation time, what might a visitation a schedule look like?

Truthfully, there is no standard visitation schedule. The parent granted visitation just needs to have access to his or her children roughly 20 percent of the time. How that works out may be different for every family. Often, visitation schedules include:

  • Alternating weekends
  • Extended holiday visits
  • One weeknight visit or overnight stay

Parents can customize a visitation schedule so that is works with their jobs and their children’s schedules. If the parent granted visitation wishes to add more time, that is certainly something he or she can request as circumstances warrant. The goal of any visitation schedule is to allow both parents time with their children and give the family a consistent routine.

A visitation schedule should be put in writing. This way, either parent has legal standing if the other fails to live up to the plan. Developing a formal parenting plan also helps everyone make it a routine.

Visitation may or may not be one’s ideal custody situation. If that is what is ordered, though, it is possible to make the best of it. An experienced family law attorney can help those in Massachusetts who are granted visitation time create parenting plans that work to serve their best interests and the best interests of their children. If modifications to these plans are ever desired, further assistance in achieving a visitation order adjustment can be provided.