Parents going through a custody battle or divorce will find that the child visitation schedule is the core of any custody agreement. The schedule will set forth the details of when the child will spend time with each parent. It should contain a regular residential schedule as well as schedules for holidays and vacations.

The regular residential schedule shall determine when the child will spend time with each parent on a regular basis. It should provide the child with continuity and structure. The child should be able to see each parent as part an established routine.

The holiday schedule should divide the child’s time in an equitable manner between the parents. The holiday schedule trumps the regular one, so if a holiday scheduled for one parent falls during the other parent’s time, the parent allotted the holiday time shall have the child.

The vacation schedule interrupts the regular one. If a parent would like to schedule vacation time with the child, he or she should make sure the time doesn’t conflict with the holiday schedule.

Of course, if parents are able to work things out and verbally agree, modifications can be made. For example, if a father wanted to take the child for two weeks in the summer which happened to conflict with the mother’s turn for Independence Day, perhaps they could agree to trade and the mother would have the child on Labor Day, instead.

At the end of the day, the court ordered child visitation schedule must be adhered to if parents are unable to mutually agree on other arrangements.

The kind of custody you have and the reasons for the need for a custody agreement in the first place will have an impact on the type of schedule you create.

The ex-husband who was abusive to his wife and child will have significantly less visitation time than a normal person would. Depending on the severity of the abuse and whether or not the abuse is likely to continue, the perpetrator may even be given limited, supervised visitation. In this case, it is almost certain that the mother would be given sole custody.

The ex-wife who had an affair that caused the breakup of the marriage could end up with sole custody despite her conduct. Most courts only consider the actions and behaviors of a person as it pertains to the care of the child. While committing adultery is reprehensible, this sort of activity most likely did not have a negative effect on the child, unless the child was directly exposed to the infidelity. Most courts consider the behavior of the parents as it affects the child and disregard any irrelevant negative traits.

Parents who have joint custody will spend a more proportionate amount of time with their child than when one parent has sole custody. Unless there are extenuating circumstances that would mandate otherwise, joint physical custody is usually viewed as better for the child than sole custody is. Some courts even prefer to award it.

Some parents experience difficulties when trying to create a child visitation schedule. When parents are unable to agree, the court case is prolonged. One of the best things parents can do for their children is to set their differences aside and work together to create a child visitation schedule.

Author's Bio: 

Christal Stephens has written extensively on the subjects of custody and parenting. Christal is a published author, part time custody blogger, and freelance writer. She lives on a small farm in rural Utah with her husband and four children.