Every time I get a client who wants the “standard visitation” schedule to be put in place, I wonder who created this standard. This standard causes more trouble than it seems possible. Woman with custody often cite this standard to me. They say it’s enough time for the father, but when asked if that amount of time would be sufficient for them, they do not agree.
There is no standard. Every family is different. I wish people and the courts would stop thinking of a formula that governs people’s relationships with their children. Children need to see both parents, and not just for a couple of hours.
A study was published in 2000 by William V. Fabricus and Jeffrey Hall about children needing to spend more time with both parents. They interviewed grown children of divorce and asked them specific questions about their childhood and how much parenting time they had with the non custodial parent, and how much time they wanted. Not surprisingly, there was an overwhelming response to give the children more time, not less. The children were not happy with just seeing their non custodial parents on such a limited scale.
The courts, parents and lawyers should take notice of this. Everyone cites the reason for the limited schedule so that the children can have stability in their lives. But children are flexible and a little bit of instability to give them more time with the other parent seems to be what the children want.