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3 key factors when planning overnights

You have custody of your kids. Your ex works a lot and was fine with allowing you to retain primary physical custody, though he or she still has legal custody rights.

On top of that, you're happy to allow your ex to see the kids for overnight visits. You're just trying to determine how often that should happen and when is the right time to start. Below are three key things to consider.

1. Are your children ready?

Young children may not realistically be ready for overnight visits. The change in scenery and scheduling can be distressing for them. They may be more strongly bonded to one parent than the other. Every child is different, so be sure you consider your children's specific needs.

2. Is your ex ready?

What is your ex's track record like? If he or she has visits with the kids on the weekends, for instance, how consistent is your ex at getting there on time and spending quality time with the kids? Don't step things up to overnight visits if your ex can't handle it.

3. Are there other children involved?

If your ex is remarried and has other kids, or lives with children from a previous marriage, you need to think about that dynamic. How do all of the kids get along? Will your ex be able to watch all of them with yours thrown into the mix? What influence do those other children have on yours?

While these are just three things to consider, any parenting plan involves a lot of various factors, and no two are the same. Be sure you know your legal rights and how to proceed when determining child custody schedules and parenting duties.

Source: Huffington Post, "Five Tips For Co-parenting In A New World," Tara Fass, accessed Sep. 21, 2017

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