Although divorce can be an amicable process between spouses, sometimes the proceedings are considered ugly or messy. There is so much anger, hatred, and distrust between two people that the divorce becomes contentious, and every issue becomes a fight. If there are children involved, the court will have to determine what to do concerning custody and visitation rights. Regardless of whether divorce was amicable or contentious, there are certain behaviors a parent should try to abide by concerning visitations with their children. In this article, we will discuss how to handle visitation rights responsibly.
What not to do During a Visitation
An unfortunate byproduct of divorce is the feeling of animosity that one spouse might have for the other. Both parents need to keep their true feelings to themselves and make sure they come together for the child’s best interests. The child should never feel as if they are in the middle of the cause of the divorce. Here are some common mistakes a parent should avoid while having visitation with their kids.
Your child is not a personal messaging service. A parent should avoid using the child to send messages to the other parent, especially if the message concerns child support, alimony, or modifying visitation rights. If the parents are unable to communicate amicably, then they need to communicate through their lawyers.
Do not prevent your child from loving their other parent. Children have two parents and, as such, should feel a connection and love for each one. A parent should not make a child choose a side and feel guilty for spending time with their other parent.
Do not forget the child still needs structure and discipline. Many parents who are going through a divorce will attempt to overcompensate by spoiling their children. Children still need discipline and structure. A parent should not be spoiling or buying their affection to make the other parent look bad or compensate for not being able to be with the child 100% of the time.
What to do During a Visitation
Visitations are an excellent time for bonding between a parent and a child. If done responsibly, a child can be well-balanced and grow up respecting and loving both parents, just as they would if the parents never gotten divorced. Here are some common tips to help make visitations more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Visitations should be natural. The activities that a parent and child do together should be activities that both would typically find engaging and enjoyable. It should be about a shared interest or experience.
A parent needs to be flexible and able to adjust their schedule. Suppose a child becomes sick or gets an invitation to a sleep-over during the other parent’s visitation. In that case, the parents must communicate and try to readjust or modify the visitation schedule.
Although it is crucial for a parent to visit and bond with their child, it is also important for the child to grow up and experience opportunities that might conflict with a rigid visitation schedule.
Raise your child to respect their other parent. Even in contentious divorces, the problems between former spouses should not escalate down to the child. At the end of the day, the other parent is responsible for the well-being of the child and deserves the respect that goes with that.
Problems With Visitation
If you and your former spouse are having problems with the visitation schedule, contact the attorneys at Thompson Law. We will work to come to an amicable solution.