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Child custody and visitation arrangements

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2024 | Child Custody

Separations and divorce can be hard on everyone, especially for any children involved. To help children through their transition from living in one home to having two residences, parents must think carefully about custody and visitation arrangements and how they will affect their kids.

Creating an effective plan can be complex, but focusing on the child’s needs is essential for finding the best solution.

Consider the child’s needs

When determining custody and visitation arrangements, consider the child’s age, preferences and relationship with each parent. Younger children may benefit from frequent contact with both parents, while older children may have specific preferences that parents should take into account.

Explore common options

There are several common custody and visitation arrangements to consider:

  • Joint custody. Both parents share legal and physical custody of the child. This means that both parents have equal rights and responsibilities in making important decisions about the child’s upbringing, and the child spends significant time with each parent.
  • Sole custody. One parent has primary physical and legal custody of the child, while the other parent may have visitation rights. This option may be appropriate if one parent is unable to provide a stable environment for the child or if there are concerns about the other parent’s ability to care for the child.
  • Shared custody. The child spends approximately equal time living with each parent. This option can be beneficial for maintaining strong relationships with both parents and meeting the child’s needs.
  • Supervised visitation. In cases where there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the child, courts may order supervised visitation. This means that a neutral third party, such as a relative or professional supervisor, supervises visits with the non-custodial parent.

Adapt your plan to your children’s needs rather than focusing on your own desires.

Prioritize the child’s well-being

Regardless of the custody and visitation arrangement chosen, the child’s safety and well-being should always be the top priority. Consider any history of domestic violence, substance abuse or neglect when determining custody and visitation arrangements.


Parents should be willing to collaborate and make decisions together in the best interests of the child. Being flexible and willing to adjust custody and visitation arrangements as needed can help ensure that you continue to meet the child’s needs as they grow and circumstances change.

Seek professional guidance

If parents cannot reach an agreement on custody and visitation arrangements, a mediator or counselor can help facilitate productive discussions and find solutions that are in the child’s best interests.

Work together

Although there are common custody arrangements, you may need to tweak yours to suit your family. You can design an effective plan by setting your differences aside and focusing on your children.