9 Ways To Improve Your Child Visitation Rights

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Do use your parental rights. If you’ve been granted visitation rights with your children, take advantage of the opportunity. Here are 9 ways to improve rights.

When you’ve been through the end of a marriage you may think that there isn’t anything more difficult in this life than divorce.

The divorce may have been difficult, but the real challenge begins when visitation starts.

Being granted visitation rights to your child can feel strange. Nobody wants to be told what they can and can’t do with their child, even when those directions are coming from a judge.

Navigating visitation can be difficult, but we’re here to help.

Do you want to know how to keep your rights and make visits pleasurable for you and your child? If so, read on to learn what you need to do.

Handling Your Visitation Rights: 9 Simple Tips 

Adjusting to your new normal after divorce is tough. You’re trying to learn how to co-parent with someone you’d rather not see, and on top of that, you’re worried about keeping your visitation schedule.

Parental visitation can be simple when you go about it the right way. If you follow these tips, your visitation will go smoothly and could even turn into eventual custody.


Be Civil

We know that you probably have a few choice words for your ex-spouse, but you should keep them to yourself when you’re visiting your kids.

Judges aren’t inclined to let very emotional, unstable, or angry parents keep their visitation rights. You could love your kids more than anything and want to see them, but some cross words about your ex-spouse or the situation could harm you.

Be sure to be civil throughout the entire process. If you have any complaints about your ex or the visitation process, save them for some trusted friends or your lawyer.

Be Honest

Are you in the right emotional state to see your child in a visitation environment? Can you handle being under supervision during visits, or having to follow guidelines set up by the court or your spouse?

If you doubt your ability to make these visits pleasant for both you and the children involved, you may want to reconsider if visitation is right for you at the moment.

Remember, a few bad visits could result in visitation rights being revoked in the future. Focus on the best way to have contact with your child and go from there.

If you’re worried about your ability to handle visits, there are plenty of ways to be involved with your kids without physically seeing them just yet. Start off with phone calls, text messages, or writing letters to your children.

Make Support Payments

Regardless of if you have a formal support payment in place or an “agreement” with your ex-spouse, make sure that you stay up to date on your financial obligations to your kids.

It’s very easy for a judge to revoke visitation rights if a parent can’t keep up with payments. That’s why it’s important to pay them in full and to pay them on time.

Not making child support payments shows judges that you either are unable to afford payments or that you don’t care about the well being of your children.

It would be best to seek a lawyer for child support for any assistance you may need regarding this matter.


Prepare Your Entire House

You may not think that the state of your home matters since you aren’t fighting for custody. But if you plan on having unsupervised visits with your child at home, you need to make sure that it’s in good shape.

There’s a difference between having lived in the house with a little clutter and living in a filthy environment. Make sure that your house stays in shape when you’re trying to get custody.

Get into the habit of having a regular cleaning schedule. You never know when a court-appointed official will want to see your house.

Your house doesn’t have to be pristine, but it should be relatively clean. Try to keep dishes to a reasonable level in the sink and don’t let laundry pile up.

Maintain Accurate Records

Have you been showing up on time to visitation while your ex is consistently late? Are you attending every visitation meeting, but your spouse is claiming that you haven’t seen the kids in months?

When you’re going to see your child for visitation, be sure to keep a very thorough record of your visits. Don’t view it as “keeping score”, think of it as building a solid case so you can show the judge the kind of parent you are.

Keeping records could come in very handy if your spouse ends up being uncooperative.

Some parents will outright lie to judges if they think it’ll end visitation. Keeping accurate records of the contact you’ve had with your child can show the judge that you’ve been doing the right thing.

Consider Impacts on Your Child

You know that you want to see your child, but how would visitation affect them?

Does a Saturday visit with you mean that they have to quit the baseball team this spring? Is your child usually happy and calm after a visit, or are they distraught and upset after they see you?

It’s possible that you’re ready for face to face visitation, but your child may not be. If visits are causing problems for your kid, think of other ways to stay in contact or suggest changes to your visitation schedule.

Don’t Make Kids Messengers 

Do you need to change visitation next week because of work? Are you thinking of using the kid’s next few days off from school to take them to visit your parents?

Your child may be responsible for their age, but it isn’t their job to maintain your visitation. It’s unfair to make them the messenger to your ex-spouse, and they could forget to relay the message.

If you need to make any changes to visitation plans, talk to your ex-spouse and not your child.

Be a Part of Their Lives

Do you know the name of your child’s best friend? Do you know the name of the friend’s parents?

How is your kid’s soccer team doing? When was the last time you attended one of their school functions?

If you want to make the most of visitation with your kid, you need to be an involved parent that’s active in their lives.

Really share a life with your child and get to know the inner workings of their world. Talk to them about school, ask questions about their friends, and just be willing to listen to what they have to say.

Be Prepared for Changes

It’s your scheduled day for visitation, but your child has a birthday party to attend and would much rather go to that.

Instead of arguing with their parent or trying to guilt your child into coming, simply reschedule your time and hope they have a wonderful time!

Your schedule is going to change, and your child’s schedule and ex’s schedule will change. If you want to keep visitation going, you’re going to have to accept that some things are going to change.

If you feel that your spouse is purposely being difficult with sticking to your visitation schedule bring it up to your lawyer. But overall you should expect for a few weekends to be busy and for some last minute reschedules.

A New Kind of Family 

Visitation rights can be a great thing when they’re handled the right way. Your marriage may no longer be viable, but you can still be a loving family for your child.

There are all kinds of families out there, and you’re just moving to the next stage with yours. Remember to keep that in mind whenever you’re feeling frustrated!

We feature stories about a lot of different families on this website. Do a quick search for “family” and see what you find!