Unfortunately, visitation exchanges can often be a time of hostility between parents. After all, the visiting parent who could once see the child any time now has to follow schedules and rules. The emotions of the divorce can also affect what should be quality time between parent and child. Meanwhile, the custodial parent must interact with someone he or she might not get along with. There are some simple tips both parents can use to make visitation go more smoothly.
1. Watch what you say, and what you do, in front of the other parent
Saying something unkind to the other parent may be a satisfying way to vent frustration or anger. But doing this, especially in front of the child, almost certainly never helps your case. Not only are you likely to hear something about it from the other attorney. The judge will probably learn about it as well. If you’re tempted to unleash on the other parent, stay calm and hold your tongue.
Similarly, you should not use visitation time to try to resolve major difficulties with the other parent. The two of you may be able to discuss things in a civil manner. However, you still risk saying something that could backfire or, if a trial or hearing is pending, tip your hand. Plus, if you’re the visiting parent, you only have so much time with your child. Why waste it trying to litigate your case?
Let your Charlotte child custody attorney deal within the appropriate forum: the courtroom.
2. Use all of your visitation time
Attorneys in Charlotte, NC frequently hear their clients complain that they haven’t been given enough time to visit their children. But not all parents actually use all of the time they have. Showing up late, missing holidays and other events, or missing visitation altogether is not uncommon. While you can’t be expected to never miss a visitation, you should try to use it all. Not doing so makes it more difficult to convince the judge you should have more. Frequently missing visitation may also cause the other parent to ask that you have less.
Plus, be sure to spend time in a way that’s beneficial for you and your child. While you can’t always do something exciting, you should make the most of the time you have. Find an activity or event that your child will learn from and enjoy. Remember, the other parent will be fully aware of what you and your child do during visits. Don’t let the other parent be able to argue that the time can be better spent with him or her.
3. Make a note of problems (and tell your attorney about them)
Both parents should keep an eye out for inappropriate behavior during exchanges. For example, the custodial parent may say something denigrating to you in front of the child. Perhaps the exchanges take place at the custodial parent’s house. If you’re the visiting parent, you should note any unsafe or unsanitary conditions. The custodial parent should keep an eye out for problematic behavior by the visiting parent as well.
Once you get a chance, make notes about anything relevant and tell your Charlotte child custody attorney. In some instances, however, a parent may be engaging in serious behavior such as drug use while with the child. If there’s immediate harm to your child’s safety or well-being, alert authorities first and then notify your Charlotte child custody attorney.
Call a Charlotte Child Custody Attorney
The easiest time to bring up problems with the other parent is often during exchanges. It’s fine to discuss simple requests such as making sure your child goes to bed on time. For more serious matters, save those for your lawyer. Use visitation as it’s intended: to spend time with your child. A Charlotte child custody attorney at Remington & Dixon can help visitations go smoothly for either parent. Call us today for a consultation.
Jennifer is a founding partner at Remington & Dixon, PLLC. Jennifer concentrates her practice in the areas of family law, wills & estates, unemployment benefits appeals, and traffic. At Elon University School of Law, Jennifer was the vice president of the Public Interest Law Society and a member of the Family Law Society. During law school, Jennifer interned at the Elon University School of Law Field Placement Clinic with Legal Aid of North Carolina where she represented clients in domestic violence court proceedings.