Parents of children contemplating divorce often worry about child custody and visitation and its influence on young children. Easily the largest concern among parents involve overnight stays with a non-custodial parent for preschool or preverbal children who may not be able to understand that overnights away from a primary care giver is temporary or be able to express their feelings about the changing situation.
The best approach is for parents to work with their respective attorneys to negotiate a parenting plan that works for their unique situation with built in flexibility to change the parenting time arrangement as the kids grow older. For very young children, it may be that parents will agree to more daytime visits, with overnights reserved for the parent who has been the primary caregiver responsibility leading up to the divorce. When children reach elementary school age, introducing overnight visits gradually allows children to adjust, while allowing them an opportunity to discuss their feelings with their parents to smooth the transition.
As part of the process, parents can agree to revisit a parenting plan periodically, and request a modification to the plan as the situation evolves – every family situation is unique, so the custody and visitation can be adjusted as kids and parents find the right fit. If you are considering divorce and have questions regarding Wisconsin child custody or visitation, contact the family law attorneys of Probst Law Offices for more information at 414-210-3135