Because you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse know that the move will happen soon after the divorce is finalized, a visitation schedule for this scenario should be included in the divorce agreement. Doing so now will save you from having to return to court later to modify the custody and visitation portion of the agreement. As with any visitation agreement, you and your spouse can agree to any schedule that is in the child’s best interest. If your children are not yet school-aged, you and your spouse can work out any type of visitation schedule you wish. The biggest obstacle to a visitation agreement is how to make sure both parents are able to spend time with the child, while working around his school schedule. In most cases where parents live far enough apart that weekend or every other weekend visits are impossible, the non-custodial parent (the parent who does not have the child full time) generally has summer visitation, spring break and at least one major holiday, Thanksgiving or Christmas. However, you and your spouse may instead choose to switch off on some holidays, you may keep the holiday visitation schedule the same from year to year, or you may each take one major holiday. What you choose is entirely dependent on what works best for your family’s specific circumstances. Keep in mind that if air travel will be necessary to accommodate visitation, you must decide who will pay for the child’s airline ticket. Some parents will agree to share the cost of the child’s airline ticket, while others agree that the non-custodial parent will pay the full cost. Depending on the child’s age, you will also have to decide whether the child will fly as an unaccompanied minor or if a parent will accompany him on each leg of the trip. The most important thing to remember when dealing with cross-country visitation is to let your child know that, despite the distance, he will continue to have a strong, loving relationship with both parents.
- My ex is planning to move across the country after the divorce. How will visitation work then?