Don’t allow ping-pong visitation schedules
Kids don’t like to live out of suitcases. If your custody and visitation plan is so complicated that the children are constantly shuffling between their parent’s homes, they’ll soon resent both parents for subjecting them to the process. A visitation schedule that has children switching addresses like a ping-pong ball in constant movement ultimately does not serve their best interests. It is better, in most cases, for the children to spend quality time at each location.
Of course, it is often difficult to make this work. When both mother and father wish to have frequent contact with the children, the court will endeavor to maximum their access and parenting time. Work schedules sometimes make the process more difficult.
Still, parents need to stop and look at the visitation plan through the eyes of the children. Are the kids waking up confused from day to day? Where am I sleeping tonight? Where did I leave my math homework–at dad’s house or mom’s house?
Creative scheduling techniques can help parents give their children more stability, more peace of mind, and more meaningful time at each home. But if all you think about is getting exactly the custody and parenting time that you’re entitled to, even if it means that the children are living out of suitcases from day to day, then you’re not serving the best interests of the children.
Tell me if your family has addressed these kinds of concerns in the past.