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Custody and visitation shared weekly can be difficult

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2020 | Family Law

Wisconsin couples who have parted ways and have children will need to coordinate for custody and visitation. Often, the court will determine the schedule or make recommendations. In some instances, the parents will come to their own agreement. Understanding effective and ineffective scheduling can be critical to avoid disputes and complications.

The scheduling template is usually based on good intentions, serving the child’s best interests and being agreeable with the other parent. Experts suggest that a 50/50 schedule with the parents sharing parenting time is a preferable strategy. The days and weeks, however, can be problematic. Alternating weeks is a method that parents believe serves everyone’s needs. This belief may not be accurate. It could even do the children more harm than good as it might:

  • Force the child to go a whole week without seeing the other parent
  • Lead to difficulty managing the arrangement
  • Upend the parents’ normal schedules

Not seeing the other parent can spark psychological issues in the child such as separation anxiety. While many parents are on amicable terms and will put aside lingering issues for the good of the child, others can let the need to have consistent contact reopen old wounds. Work schedules can be challenging. The child’s schooling and extracurricular activities may be costly in financial, personal and professional ways.

Other concepts could be better. That includes two days with one parent, two with the other, then three with the first parent. Or the schedule does not need to be constrained by the conventional seven-day week. A 10-day template might be easier to manage. The child’s age is also a key factor as older children have different needs than younger ones. Whether the parents have an acrimonious relationship, are on good terms or are in between, the custody and visitation schedule may need to be adjusted as time passes. With any aspect of family law, it could help to have experienced and compassionate legal advice to deal with the case.