Typically, the most stressful aspect of a divorce for a parent is the prospect of child custody. Rather than both parents having the children all the time, the children's time is divided and given to the parents by either agreement or court order.
A question many parents have is how much custody time they'll have after the divorce. Many times, parents ask what standard visitation is. The truth is, there is no longer a "standard" custody arrangement. As courts look more and more to protect the interests of the children, the custody arrangements they use change. What used to be the most commonly used visitation arrangement was every-other weekend, a weeknight dinner every-other week, alternating holidays, and 2 weeks of summer vacation. While this is still used as a default by many attorneys and judges, you shouldn't expect or resign yourself (or your children and your ex) to that arrangement.
As school summers have shortened, each parent now often gets 3-4 weeks (about half) of the summer break. The alternating weeknight dinner sometimes shifts to being an overnight visit. The length of the weekends is sometimes stretched, beginning at release of school on Thursday or Friday, or continuing until Monday morning.
The main factors determining how much time you'll have with your kids are:
- Whether you reach an agreement with your spouse;
- If the case goes to mediation, the view of the mediator;
- If the case is not resolved prior to trial, the judge assigned to your case;
- How involved you've been as a parent prior to the divorce; and
- Traits and conduct (of you or your ex) relevant to parenting that may be brought to the court's attention.
How those factors will work out in any particular case is impossible to know in advance, but a skilled attorney can typically give you a good idea of what to expect after they've learned more about your situation. If you'd like to speak to a skilled attorney about your situation today, set up a consultation with The Lilly Law Firm today at (678) 807-9150.