You’ve decided to get a divorce or maybe even completed the divorce procedures – What about child visitation? Have you planned for this portion of your separation? How are you going to see your children? Or, how do you feel about the children leaving the house to stay with the other parent?
You both may have made promises to the children, but now it’s time the rubber met the road. You must plan for your child’s visitation. Where you active with your children, before the divorce? What are they expecting from you? Trips to the amusement park every weekend? Or will it be a boring time spent watching television?
To be honest it really doesn’t matter, as long as you spend quality time talking with them and sharing how you are feeling about them. Children want everything to come out right, but that isn’t always the case. What you can do more than anything is to let them know that no matter the situation between you and your ex-spouse that they aren’t at fault for the two of you breaking up and that you love them unconditionally. Child visitation should be a happy time for both you and your kids.
If you decide to neglect you child visitation and not honor you schedule times and places that you promised you will regret it long term. Remember what you tell you child is the gospel truth to them. If you neglect to keep a promised visitation time or a scheduled event such as school play they belief system may become shattered. If the can’t believe their parents, who can they believe?
Establish your child visitation schedule early on. Outline the times you plan to spend with the children. Include pickup and drop off times and locations. In this manner you have defined the expectations of each parent and given the children something to plan their life around. Remember this affects them more than you or you ex-spouse, and communications is the key.
I am a product a divorce and dealt with the child visitation issue growing up. At 10 my parents separated and I lived with my mom. My dad had visitation on the weekends. At the time my dad didn’t commit to much and as a result we, my sister and I, didn’t visit with him much. He would make a lot of promises that he rarely kept. When I had my child I made a promise that my ‘Yes’ was yes and my ‘No’ was no; If I made a promise I was bound to keep it. If I was unsure about a situation; my answer would be ‘We will see when the time comes’.
As for my dad, he is constantly in and out of the hospital with a number of ailments. I go and visit and take care of him during his times of need. The love and admiration for him that should be there isn’t, because I still remember waiting for him to pick us up and him not showing up for his scheduled child visitation. That was over 30 years ago. If you are separated or divorced and have children don’t miss out on this time. They need you more than ever.