Child custody and visitation decisions represent some of the most challenging matters in a divorce or post-divorce case in Mississippi. Summer months can present some unique issues and challenges when it comes to addressing visitation.
Parenting time and best interests of a child
When it comes to child custody and visitation issues, the standard applied in the decision-making process is what is in the best interests of a child. The best interests of a child standard requires a case-by-case consideration of the unique facts and circumstances surrounding custody and parenting time.
Child visitation options for summertime
There are a variety of options available when it comes to developing a meaningful parenting time schedule for the summer months. One such option involves alternating weekends. Under such a scheme, a child has a primary residence with the custodial parent. The noncustodial parent has visitation with the child on alternating weekends.
A second summer visitation option uses the alternating weekend scheme but adds an evening visit during the week. This works well when parents live in fairly close proximity to one another. A related alternative uses the same alternating weekend schedule but makes the midweek visit an overnight.
Yet another summer visitation options also uses the alternate weekend schedule. The alternate weekend visit is extended into Monday as a means of providing additional time between the noncustodial parent and child.
In the final analysis, visitation of parenting time is designed to ensure that a noncustodial parent and child are able to develop and maintain a meaningful relationship with one another. Indeed, the term parenting time really has supplanted visitation because a noncustodial parent should not be relegated to being a visitor in the life of a child.