One of the first questions that a domestic relations lawyer in Arkansas will get from a potential client is, “When will I get to see my children?” Visitation is an aspect of a domestic relations case involving children that must be handled immediately. As parents, we know that stability and continuity in our children’s lives is one of the most important issues we’ll face, and the courts agree, too. A judge will always want to ensure that a child’s life remains as calm and consistent as he or she can possibly make it, and the court will often set up a temporary visitation schedule for the kids immediately, while the parties and their lawyers figure out just what to do about the rest of the divorce case.
Most courts provide parents with a Standard Visitation Schedule. This is a schedule that sets out when each parent has the children, as well as providing rules for how the parties are to behave – whether they’re with the children, or not. Standard visitation schedules are the starting point for the courts, but the parties are always free to make changes to the schedule to make it fit their lives a little better. For example, if the non-custodial parent works for a fire department, he or she may have a work schedule of 24 hours on and 48 hours off. This is clearly not workable with an “every-other-weekend” visitation schedule. Instead, the parties may include language in their court order that addresses this visitation schedule needs, allowing the kids to get as much time with the non-custodial parent as possible.
While a court’s visitation schedule is the law, the parents are always free to change their kids’ visitation schedules by agreement. This is an important rule for every parent to remember. Too often, parents get hung up on whether they’re following the visitation schedule to the letter, rather than making adjustments for regular bumps in the road that we get in life. We always counsel our clients to be as cooperative and understanding with the other side as they can possibly be, because, when they are, the kids are the ones who benefit.
Visitation schedules can have the greatest impact on our relationships with our kids. You need a lawyer who will fight for your family to ensure that your kids and their relationships are protected. Rhoads & Armstrong can help. Please call 479-254-0135 for a free consultation or connect with us via our online form.