There are a number of different ways to arrange visitation; how you do it depends on your situation. The following are three options for visitation arrangements:
- Visitation schedule: In some cases, parents may want to set up a very clear visitation schedule. For example, if communication between the parents is not good, it is best to have a set schedule. Parents will then not have to be in constant contact to try and agree on when visits will take place each week. When setting up a visitation schedule, parents should base it on the needs of the child as well as the schedules of both parents.
- Reasonable visitation: If communication between the parents is good, another option is to leave visitation flexible rather than setting up a schedule in advance. Parents can then arrange with each other when visits can take place.
- Supervised visitation: In some situations, it may not be safe for a child to be left alone with a parent during visitation. If this is the case, one option is to arrange for supervised visitation. Supervised visitation means that a third party (not the other parent) is present during the visits to make sure that the child is safe and that the visiting parent acts appropriately. If a supervisor believes that the child is not safe, he or she can stop the visit.
Supervised visitation may be appropriate in the following situations:
- when the visiting parent has a history of abuse toward the child or any other child or toward the other parent;
- when the visiting parent has an alcohol or drug abuse problem;
- when the visiting parent has a criminal record;
- when the visiting parent has a mental health problem; or
- when the visiting parent has a serious problem with the Department of Children and Families.
Contact Attorney Renee Lazar to tailor a visitation plan suitable to your situation.