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Many visitation options available for parents after divorce

Pennsylvania parents who are getting a divorce might agree that one of them will have physical custody of their child while the other has visitation rights. There are a number of different arrangements they can use.

In one common schedule, the child spends alternate weekends with the noncustodial parent. This is often from 6 p.m. on Friday to 6 p.m. on Sunday. A Wednesday night visitation might be added as well. If the custodial parent has to travel for work or other reasons on the weekend, it may be helpful to extend the weekend visitation until Monday.

There are other ways the visitation schedule could be set up to accommodate parents' job schedules. Not everyone has a 9-to-5 job from Monday to Friday. If one parent works a swing shift, the other parent could be responsible for picking up the child at school and helping the child with homework, fixing dinner or taking the child to sports and other extracurricular activities. Noncustodial parents also do not have to be limited to weekend visitations. The child might spend Tuesday to Thursday with the noncustodial parent and the other days with the custodial parent. Any arrangement that parents can stick to and that allows them to give support to the child can be a workable one.

Whether parents share custody or one has visitation rights, there are a number of other issues they might want to address. They should make a plan for how the child will spend holidays and vacations. They might also want to talk about who will be responsible for taking the child to doctor's appointments, who will go to parent-teacher conferences and whether they will both attend the child's games and performances. Even if there is a lot of conflict, they might be able to create a good co-parenting relationship if they keep the focus on the child.

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