A Parent’s Guide to Making Child-Focused Visitation Decisions

  1. Keep Children Out of the Middle

    Keep Children Out of the Middle. Parents can keep their children out of the middle of adult issues by not using the children as messengers.

  2. Resolve Conflict Quickly and Safely as Possible

    Parents may resolve conflict in a variety of different ways including utilization of attorneys, child support officers, mediators, faith leaders and family members.

  3. Respect Parent-Child Relationships

    Unless otherwise agreed upon by both parents, parents should not plan activities for children that conflict with the other parent’s scheduled time with the children. Parents can also help their children by adjusting their own schedule to permit their children to participate in reasonable extracurricular activities.

  4. Facilitate Transition from One Parent to the Other

    Parents can help their children transition from one home to the other by understanding children’s anxieties. Children commonly have separation anxiety and this does not necessarily mean that they have a poor relationship with the other parent.

  5. Establish Similar Household Routines

    Parents can help their children by following similar routines for mealtime, bedtime and homework time.

  6. Provide Child’s Belongings

    Parents can help their children transition between parents’ homes by sending along their children’s personal items such as clothing, medicine, equipment, blankets, stuffed animals, photo’s, etc.

  7. Establish a Routine for Picking Up and Dropping Off Child

    Parents can also help their children by having the children ready and by being on time and avoiding communication that may lead to conflict.

*Please note that these guidelines are suggestions and may not be appropriate for every family experiencing visitation and exchange issues especially those who are victimized by domestic violence. Contact Children's Safe Harbor for more information about neutral exchange services and safety programs in the area. These Guidelines were adapted from the Supervised Visitation Network.


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