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Tips for Making Visitation Positive

Father and son during visitation
While divorce is difficult for any set of spouses, the process of separating is especially hard on children. Children often struggle the most with their parents’ divorce, and the struggle continues when they do not have stable, consistent relationships with each parent. Visitation is designed to facilitate healthy relationships.

Visitation may be difficult to deal with and perhaps even hard for children to understand. Still, you can take some steps to make visitation a positive experience. Consider these tips when you approach visitation for the first time.

1. Always Be on Time

When you are supposed to pick up or drop off your child at a specific time, ensure you do it. Punctuality shows your child that they are a priority in your life. Additionally, being late for pick-ups and drop-offs may also be against the court order for visitation. Changing plans at the last minute may also pose a problem.

You may also use a calendar specifically for the children's division of time. Place the calendar somewhere the children can always see it to create a sense of stability and to develop reasonable expectations.

2. Allow Phone Calls

Children naturally miss a parent they are not with physically, but they may fear showing you how they feel out of fear they will hurt your feelings. Encourage your child to communicate his or her feelings to you.

Your child should feel comfortable calling his or her other parent to talk for a few moments, even if only to tell them good night or good morning. You can also help your child cope by working on art projects as gifts for their other parent.

Preventing a child from speaking to their other parent during visitation may not look well in court if you have your visitation or custody arrangement amended in court.

3. Collaborate on Holiday Plans

If the judge did not already create a holiday plan for switching off your children, you should set one up together. Many families alternate which holidays the children will spend at each parent's home.

When you create this plan, be as specific as possible. Include pick-up and drop-off times to avoid any conflict or misconception of where the children will be and when.

4. Communicate Effectively With Your Co-Parent

Your co-parenting relationship relies on strong communication. When you communicate with each other, you can provide pertinent information and also establish rules for the children. When children have consistent rules in both homes, they are less confused.

At the same time, adult discussions should happen only in private and never around the children. Children should not be aware of any conflicts existing between the two of you, as it may make them anxious or fearful. Setting aside hurt and anger is difficult following a divorce, especially because you must work together to make important decisions regarding your child's medical needs, education, and financial issues.

5. Rely on Professional Advice

Effective co-parenting has many benefits for your children. To start, children feel more secure when they know both parents love them. They also benefit from consistency and having healthy examples of communication in their life. You can provide excellent examples of adult behavior by modeling communication with your co-parent.

Are you in the midst of a divorce that involves children? Does your ex-spouse want to amend your agreement? Allan Brandon Tise PLLC, Attorney at Law is a family law office that understands the stress involved in establishing visitation and custody in a divorce. Contact us today to set up a consultation with our attorneys to learn more about what you can do in your specific case.

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