There are as many different visitation schedules as there are people with children who get divorced. There is such a thing as standard visitation, but what the "standard" is depends on the county, the lawyers and the judges. I can write a visitation schedule almost anyway conceivable. Most custody situations entail one party having physical custody and the other party having visitation. A typical visitation schedule is every other weekend from 6:00 p.m. on Friday to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday. Some lawyers write in terms of first, third and fifth weekends, and mid-week visitation is often included. I like the every other weekend scenario better because I think it is easier to remember. A good way to give the non-custodial parent more time with the children is to move the return time to the following Monday morning and/or pushing the commencement time back to Thursday. Some parents try "week on/week off" visitation schedules, but it takes a very special couple to make this work. Holidays are usually shared from even to odd years, and there is usually a provision for an extended time for visitation during the summer. Below you will find a standard provision for custody and visitation.
The parties agree that they shall share legal custody of their minor child, but the Wife will have the primary physical custody, subject only to the Husband's visitation with the minor child every other weekend beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at 8:00 a.m. on the following Monday. The Husband shall also have the right to have visitation for one night during the week that he does not have weekend visitation, as mutually agreeable between the parties, but in the event they cannot agree, on Wednesdays beginning at 5:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 a.m. the following day.
The Husband shall have additional visitation regardless of otherwise scheduled custody/visitation, as follows:
Four (4) full weeks in the summer, being designated as the second and third weeks in June and the second and third weeks in July, unless the parties agree otherwise;
During the Christmas Holidays in even-numbered years, beginning the day the child is let out from school and ending at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day (December 25th), while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her during the aforementioned times in odd-numbered years; during the Christmas Holidays in odd-numbered years, beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Christmas Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Day, while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her during the aforementioned times in even-numbered years;
During the Thanksgiving Holidays in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on the Wednesday immediately preceding Thanksgiving Day and ending at 6:00 p.m. on the following Sunday, while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her during the Thanksgiving Holidays in even-numbered years;
During the Easter Holidays in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Good Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday, while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her during the Easter Holidays in even-numbered years;
On Memorial Day weekend in odd-numbered years, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending on Memorial Day at 6:00 p.m., while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her on Memorial Day weekend in even-numbered years;
On Labor Day weekend in even-numbered years, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending on Labor Day at 6:00 p.m., while Wife will always have the right to have the child with her on Labor day weekend in odd-numbered years;
On Independence Day (July 4th) in odd-numbered years, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 9:00 p.m., while the Wife will always have the right to have the child with her on Independence Day in even-numbered years;
On Father's Day weekend each and every year, beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday and ending at 6:00 p.m. on Father's Day, while Wife will always have the right to have the child with her on Mother's Day weekend each and every year;
At such other times agreed upon by the parties, and while the Husband will not make unrealistic requests for additional time with the child, the Wife will also not unreasonably withhold additional time from the Husband;
The Husband and the Wife shall exert every reasonable effort to maintain open communication between the child and the other parent and to foster a feeling of affection between said child and the parent, and the parties shall make reasonable efforts to consult with each other with regard to the child's education, illnesses, operations, and other matters of similar importance affecting said child, whose well-being, education and development shall at all times be the paramount consideration of both parents. Neither Husband nor Wife shall do anything that may estrange or alienate the minor child from the other party or to injure the minor child's opinion as to his parents, or which may hamper the free and natural development of the child's love and respect for both parents. Each party shall make a reasonable and diligent effort to keep the other parent informed of the child's school programs and sporting events so as to afford the other parent an opportunity to attend and participate. Each party shall have access to the school and medical records of the child; and
Neither party shall permit the child to be exposed to the use of illegal drugs, excessive alcohol consumption, overnight visitation by a member of the opposite sex not related by blood or marriage or other immoral conduct.
The Mississippi court determines child custody based on the best interests of the child. The court can award sole or joint custody, and if the child is 12 years old or older, the court considers the wishes of the child.
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"A Plain English Guide to Protecting Your Children"
Mary L. Boland, Attorney at Law
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