How to Determine Visitation Outside of the Court

At Arnel Law Firm, we understand that divorcing your spouse is not an easy process, especially if there are children in the picture. Although divorce might be heated and tense for some spouses, prioritizing the needs of the children can be enough to get both parents to sit down and figure out a visitation agreement outside of court. Whether you want to avoid the hassle of going to court or you just don’t want to drag your children through a messy legal battle, the following tips can help you figure out a fair visitation agreement with the other parent.


Although divorce can be emotionally triggering for spouses, involving a mediator to facilitate negotiations regarding child custody and visitation can help you and your ex reach an agreement about what is best for your children. Mediation is a neutral process in which a mediator meets with two parties to help them have a productive conversation that will hopefully lead to a solution. Both parents will have an opportunity to establish common goals for the children, as well as what they think is adequate time and support with them.

Draft a Parenting Plan/Agreement

After you negotiate an agreement for parenting goals, schedules, contact, and responsibilities for raising the children, you will need to write down all of the details to create a comprehensive parenting plan. How detailed and thorough the plan needs to be varies depending on your particular situation. Parenting plans make things easier for the children and both parents because it establishes a consistent schedule that allows each parent to live separate, comfortable lives.

Factors to Consider

There are numerous factors that both parents must consider regarding where the children will live, such as:

  • Will one parent get the children full-time or will they share custody rights?
  • How much time will the children spend with the other parent?
  • How flexible are both parents with sleeping arrangements?

The plan should also cover how much visitation the non-custodial parent is entitled to. The non-custodial parent generally gets around 20% of parenting time if custody is not shared evenly. Scheduling visitation with the children should also include weekend visits, pickup and drop-off times, location, and which method of communication is preferred with the other parent.

Holidays & Summer Break

Holidays and summer breaks are when parents are usually able to set aside time for trips and gatherings that make for wonderful family memories. That is why both parents should try to avoid fighting over who gets spend time with the children during these times. If the parents live near each other, then the children should have the opportunity to spend time with both parents during the break. If not, time can be split and the parents can alternate custody each holiday or summer break.

Notarize the Parenting Plan

After you have hammered out the details of the agreement, you should print a copy and get it notarized. Both parents need to sign it in front of the notary, who will also sign and stamp the document. Once the agreement is notarized, you can have a talk with your children and explain how everything will work moving forward.

Speak to Our Custody & Visitation Lawyers Today

Our child custody lawyers at Arnel Law Firm have extensive experience helping clients navigate all aspects of divorce and child custody. We work closely with our clients and we are committed to using our extensive knowledge to help parents keep more control over the critical decisions that will shape their lives and the lives of their children. To learn more about our comprehensive legal services, please reach out to our law firm today.

Call (718) 550-3024 or contact us online to take advantage of a free, no-obligation consultation.