Courts prioritize a child’s best interests when deciding what child custody arrangement to order. It is usually in a child’s best interest to maintain relationships with both parents, so courts typically award parents joint child custody.
However, there are also some instances when a court may decide it is better for the child to live with one parent and maintain a relationship with the other parent through scheduled visits. In situations like this, a court may award one parent sole custody and award the other parent visitation.
A visitation plan will include specific details, such as:
- Whether the visits will be supervised or unsupervised
- How frequently the visits will occur
- How long each visit will last
Make the most of visitation time with your child
It can be an emotional blow to have a court award the other parent sole custody, but it is important to make the most of the time you do have with your child. A few ways to do this, include:
- Being on time
- Avoiding negative comments about the other parent or the custody arrangement
- Showing positivity
- Helping your child feel comfortable and welcome in the visitation space
- Suggesting interactive activities, like a card game, a trip to a museum or a craft
Know that you can pursue a modification
Although your current custody arrangement may not be what you wanted it to be, there is still hope. Life is always changing, and custody arrangements are not permanent. If your circumstances, the other parent’s circumstances or your child’s needs change, it may be appropriate to seek a modification of the child custody order. This means that as the situation changes, there may be opportunities to pursue a new arrangement that may grant you more time with your child.