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Different methods for child visitation

Child visitation schedules are more flexible than many Georgia residents might realize. Parenting schedules are necessary when one parent is the primary caregiver and the other has visitation rights. A popular option in this situation is an alternating weekend routine where children reside with the noncustodial parent every other weekend.

The alternating weekend routine typically works best when the noncustodial parent has a standard work schedule that includes working during the week and being off on the weekends. This schedule is also easy for parents who are newly separated. With this method, a weekend with the noncustodial parent might start at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and end at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday.

There are other schedules that may work better for one's family. The "weeknight plus weekend" model works best when parents live near each other. In addition to alternating weekends, children spend one night every week with the noncustodial parent. In this scenario, children could go with the noncustodial parent right after school or just spend a few hours with this parent on the given night. In this model, children only spend the night with the noncustodial parent on alternating weekends.

In the midweek overnight routine, children would also spend the night on their midweek visit, and on Sunday nights, they are with the noncustodial parent. This allows children to spend substantial time with each parent but also requires more communication and coordination between both parents.

While some parenting plans are more common than others, there is no correct model. A schedule should be as simple or complicated as necessary to best serve the children and parents involved. When figuring out child custody options, parents may wish to have assistance from attorneys or mediators. Negotiation or mediation might eliminate the need for litigation, which can be time-consuming, painful and costly.

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