Parents in Utah already have the right to choose visitation schedules that work best for them, the article says. That usually is agreed upon in mediation or is decided by a judge if the parents can’t come to an agreement.
The legislation, however, would increase the ability of the noncustodial parent to be a prominent figure in a child’s life.
Under the proposed “parent-child” visitation arrangement, children would have 145 overnights and a set holiday schedule to spend with their noncustodial parent. Its goal is to give children a chance to build a sense of home rather than feeling tossed around with a more traditional schedule such as alternating weekends or holidays.
Giving children the opportunity to build a strong relationship with each parent should be a primary goal during any divorce. Barring extenuating circumstances that would make a generous visitation schedule impossible or dangerous – as in cases where domestic violence or substance abuse poses a threat to a child’s wellbeing – it is prudent for couples to remember that fostering stability is the best way to ensure that children make it through a divorce with as few emotional scars as possible.
In North Carolina, divorcing parents can also use mediation to determine the best arrangement so that they can both remain a part of their children’s lives. In mediation, a professionally trained and impartial third party facilitates discussions with parents in order to come to a co-parenting agreement that (hopefully) serves everyone’s best interests.
One of the nice features about mediation is that it is less formal and more relaxed than a traditional courtroom setting. A calm atmosphere helps couples make decisions in a rational way rather than letting their nerves and resentments boil over and destroy chances for collaboration.