A Closer Look into Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

There are many types of child custody arrangements that the courts may select from according to what would be in child's best interest. Similarly, court will decide about a visitation schedule that will be right for the child. In this context we will look at different types of child custody arrangements and also various visitation schedules that court may select from.

Child Custody and Visitation Arrangements

Types of Child Custody

child custody arrangments• Physical Custody (Sole, Joint and Bird's Nest Custody): Here child lives with one parent (or both) as per decision taken by the court.
• Legal custody (Sole and Joint Custody): Parent getting legal custody is able to take decisions related to upbringing of child.
• Joint Custody: As the name suggests, here both parents are allowed to split time into half among themselves.
• Split Custody: If there are more than one child (as for instance, if there are two children), then one parent gets custody of one child and other parent of another child.
At the time of child custody arrangements court will also decide about visitation schedule that parents need to follow. Let us go through details of different types of visitation schedule court may order.

Visitation Schedule

Visitation refers to arrangement on the way parents would share their time with the child. 
At the time of giving visitation order the court will keep child's best interest in mind along with situation parents are in and look into other details to decide about right type of arrangement.

Visitation Schedule – Types

  • Scheduled Visitation 
  • Reasonable Visitation 
  • Supervised Visitation
There are different types of visitation arrangements that court may decide upon, let us look at what they are:
• Scheduled Visitation: Here court clearly specifies visitation schedule parents need to adhere to. This ensures that there is no confusion or conflicts with respect to when a parent would visit the child. 
This schedule is often created after taking into consideration holidays, vacations and other special occasions (such as important events for family, birthdays, father's and mother's day, etc.).
• Reasonable Visitation: In this type of visitation order court does not specify a schedule related to when parents can visit the child. Here parents get the freedom to create the schedule on their own. 
Such arrangement is suitable in situations where there is good communication between parents. However, such open-ended schedule can become problematic in case misunderstanding or disagreement develops between parents.
• Supervised Visitation: This type of arrangement becomes necessary when court is concerned about child's well-being and safety. In such situation the court may order the visitation be supervised by the other parent, a professional agency, or another adult. 
This type of supervised visitation also becomes necessary where parent and child will require more time to get accustomed to and know one another (for instance when a parent had been away for a long time and has not been in touch with the child).

The Bottom Line

Thus, to conclude it can be said that selection of right type of child custody from the many available child custody arrangements and appropriate visitation schedule is quite important to ensure child's best interest remains the first priority.