Pennsylvania residents might benefit from learning more about some of the critical factors to consider when developing a visitation schedule. First and foremost, it may be beneficial to come to terms with the concept of what is considered to be fair and common practice in regard to court-ordered visitation schedules. In terms of fairness, as long as no one is unfit for parenting, both parents should be afforded as much access to the child as possible, since it's typically viewed as being in the best interests of the child.
However, fair is not synonymous with equal when the court rules on a visitation schedule. In most states, courts approximately 20 percent of the total parenting time for the noncustodial parent. The most common schedule for this allotment of time involves select holidays, two to six weeks during the summer, one weeknight each week and every other weekend. Most families start with this framework, and then adjust according to their own specific needs.
Establishing a consistent routine is most important when younger children are affected by the divorce. Many families choose to adopt a visitation schedule that provides the noncustodial parent with more than 20 percent of the total parenting plan. Families are typically accomplish this by including longer summer visits and additional weeknights during the week. Ex-spouses will also have to work together on arranging rendezvous points, guidelines for communicating and other logistic issues.
A parent who needs more information about visitation schedules may want to speak with a family law attorney. Legal counsel may be prepared to review the particular situation and begin formulating a strategy for obtaining more favorable terms from a court that will be issuing a parental rights order.