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Divorcing? How Will You Handle Child Custody and Visitation?


Divorce is messy and difficult. It’s even more stressful and emotional when children are involved!

Once a couple with children decides to divorce, they have a lot to consider with regard to the children. For example, they have to decide who will be the primary caregiver, how custody will be shared, and how they will develop a visitation schedule.

In some ideal cases, parents can create their own parenting plans with the help of a mediator. As a psychologically trained divorce attorney/mediator for over 35 years, I have helped couples successfully develop thousands of parenting plans. This approach is more family friendly and helps the couple maintain a healthy, happy atmosphere for the child.

But not all couples can cooperate or agree on custody. For those couples, the custody arrangements fall into the hands of judges and the sometimes unpredictable court system.

All judges and courts seek custody arrangements that are in the best interest of the child and not necessarily what the parents want.

I encourage all my clients, when possible, to try to work out custody arrangements themselves. Why leave this very important process to strangers. Mediation is the perfect vehicle to put you in the driver’s seat. It’s non-adversarial, less expensive, and more supportive of the families’ needs.

There are different types of custody arrangements.

Let me walk you through what is possible:

1.) Legal Custody:

A parent makes decisions about school, medical issues, religion, and other major issues. This does not necessarily mean the parent will have physical custody.

2.) Sole Physical Custody:

One parent is the primary caregiver and has the children the majority of the time. Custody means the right to make decisions, not where the child will live.

3.) Joint Physical Custody:

Both parents share the caregiving of the child. Joint physical custody or time with the children is often split 50/50.

The goal of visitation is usually for each parent to spend as much time with the children as possible. When approaching visitation, it is important for couples to take into consideration the following:

1. personal work schedules;

2. distance between residences;

3. children’s schooling;

4. extracurricular activities;

5. the best interests of the child.

Some visitation schedules can include:

1. weekends;

2. every other weekend;

3. weekdays;

4. certain holidays;

5. vacations;

6. phone calls;

7. Facetime;

8. texts, during the day or overnight (depending on the age of the child) and so on.

It helps for couples to work together and be flexible with schedules in order to provide stability and balance for the child. Equal time with both parents is sometimes ideal and other times it is not.

Having a consistent schedule is really important for a child’s mental and emotional well-being. It’s not easy for a child to become part of a divorced family. It’s a big transition in a little person’s life. It can be sad, painful, and confusing for a child.

During my family-friendly mediation process, I often recommend the family work with a therapist who is part of my team to help with the transition when necessary.

If you are thinking of divorce and would like to use a family-friendly approach, call me. I can help you create balanced, loving, custody and visitation agreements.

Call me today and we can discuss the right custody and visitation options for you and your family. My consultations, which are free, are one hour, discreet, informative and comprehensive.

All our FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are conveniently conducted virtually to reduce risk.

We still have some appointments available for this week.

I look forward to helping you, and your family with a healthy, happy divorce transition.

Stay healthy and safe!

Warm regards,


When it comes to your future and that of your family, don’t leave anything to chance. Learn about the best divorce options for you from New York Divorce Lawyer Lois M. Brenner, Esq.

Do it now! Call 212.734.1551.

Lois Brenner is like no other divorce attorney offering unique psychological and superb legal guidance.