A Closer Look at Reasonable Visitation and What You Should Know
Visitation, also called parenting time, is one of the most challenging areas co-parents have to navigate. It’s also a great source of frustration. The default approach to shared parenting time is called “reasonable visitation.”
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve recently broken up with your child’s other parent or you’ve been co-parenting for a while. Understanding how reasonable visitation works — and what to do when it isn’t working — can help you support your child’s relationship with both parents while eliminating disagreements.
What Is Reasonable Visitation?
There are two basic types of visitation: reasonable and fixed. As the name implies, a fixed visitation schedule is established ahead of time. The arrangement is put in writing, dictating the exact dates and times when each parent has the child in their care.
Reasonable visitation is much more flexible. This type of agreement allows the parents to work together to set a visitation plan, which they can alter as needed through mutual agreement.
What Are the Benefits of Reasonable Visitation?
Unless co-parents absolutely can’t find a way to see eye-to-eye, reasonable visitation is usually the preferred visitation option. It’s more flexible and convenient, and it allows a visitation schedule to be adapted to the changing needs and circumstances of everyone involved.
Failing to adhere to a fixed visitation schedule puts parents at risk of violating their parenting plan. Reasonable visitation allows parents to make changes to the visitation schedule as needed. This makes it much easier to plan visitation around factors like a changing work schedule, a child’s new extracurricular activity, or vacation plans.
What to Do When Reasonable Visitation Isn’t Working
Reasonable visitation requires compromise from both co-parents. It also means that both sides must be able to make reasonable requests and live up to their obligations.
For some people, making reasonable visitation work can be a challenge. If your co-parent has a tendency to skip out on their scheduled parenting time or demand parenting time with little notice, it can be a source of stress and frustration. Fortunately, when this is the case, you have options.
A Michigan child custody lawyer can help you draft a new parenting plan. With this option, you still have reasonable visitation in place but with stricter terms. For example, you can set a regular schedule and ask that your co-parent give a 24-hour notice if they want to deviate from that plan.
If reasonable visitation continues to not work in your situation, a child custody lawyer can advise you on whether requesting a fixed parenting plan would be better given your circumstances. A fixed plan may be necessary in some situations, but most co-parents try to make reasonable visitation work. A lawyer can advise you of your options and propose ideas that might help reasonable visitation work for everyone.
Learn How a Michigan Child Custody Lawyer Can Help
Gucciardo Family Law assists in child custody cases across the greater Detroit metro area. You can give us a call today to learn more about how an experienced Michigan child custody lawyer can help.
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