Being a non-custodial parent offers some tough challenges. Absence from the child’s life on a day-to-day basis and managing visitation scheduling can be tricky as well. Whether the child custody and visitation schedule was arranged by the court or arranged between the two spouses, it’s important for every parent to make the most of his or her time with the child.
Improving the Visitation Experience
One of the best ways to get the most out of a visitation is to make sure both the parent and child don’t have other obligations to fulfill and can actually be present for most of the visit. If the child is visiting on weekends, parents should try to arrange their schedules so they have those days off.
If the parent is supposed to work, he or she might ask coworkers to cover or trade shifts. If the parent has the child for longer periods – say, for the summer – avoid taking on side projects and overtime during their stay.
Kids like to know what to expect, so talk with them and plan activities ahead of time. That way the plan can be agreed upon beforehand and avoid unnecessary complaining, disappointment, and squabbles. Including them in the plans could help make them feel like they have some say in the process.
Some non-custodial parents feel they need to pull out all the stops, spend lots of money, and wow their kids at every visit. These are expectations nobody can realistically fulfill and they can end up negatively affecting the relationship (as well as the wallet). It’s okay to spend quiet “down time” with kids. Explore free and low-cost diversions like visits to parks or reading together.
If facing a child custody case, and having trouble exercising visitation rights, or thinking the current parenting and visitation plan needs modification, speak with a Dallas child custody attorney as soon as possible to discuss options.