Visitation Schedule is Disruptive

by Julie from Tallahassee, Florida, Leon County

My daughter has primary custody of her 15 month old daughter.

The father gets her every week. One week Wednesday through Friday and the following week Friday through Sunday.

We feel that this frequency is disruptive in the the child's daily schedule. I have tried to talk to the father, but he will not budge.

He is trying to get as much time with her so that he does not have to pay as much in child support. The child has had some difficulty readjusting when she comes home.

The father doesn't feel she has any problems, but he does not know how she normally behaves at home or daycare.

Is this kind of schedule typical and especially since he lives in another town about 1 1/2 hours away? How can we convince the Judge that this is not in the best interest of the child?

Answer to Florida Child Visitation Question

Dear Julie,

I agree with you, this type of schedule can often be disruptive for children.

Some children don't seem to mind going back and forth; others seem constantly stressed out over it.

And it doesn't necessarily depend on the age of the child; although many people will say that pre-schoolers don't mind and don't know the difference. I disagree.

I suggest that you try again to discuss this with your ex. The child support guidelines changed as of January 1, 2011.

If your ex's motive in keeping your daughter 50% of the time is to minimize his child support obligation, it appears to me he may be able to get some relief through the new guidelines.

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