While many divorced parents in Minnesota share child custody, in other cases one parent takes care of the children most of the time. The other parent generally will have visitation time with the kids, which is also known as parenting time.
For many children, spending most of their time with one parent with parenting time reserved for the other is the best possible arrangement. It can offer stability, and if the parents do not live near each other, there would less travel time involved. This is not in the best interests of all children, however.
In most states, there are two types of visitation. If the judge rules that the noncustodial spouse shall receive “reasonable visitation” time, he or she is leaving the actual scheduling to the parents. This works best, of course, when the parents are able to cooperate on determining visitation time, despite the divorce.
When the judge does not believe that the parents can do so, he or she is more likely to impose a fixed visitation schedule. Besides dictating which days the noncustodial parent has the kids, the judge could also determine a location for the handoff to take place.
This could be necessary when the parents are unable to get along or work together on child custody matters. If you believe your ex cannot be reasonable about visitation, you may wish to talk to your family law attorney about asking the court for fixed visitation.
Also, if your co-parent has a history of domestic violence, you can ask the judge to require that visitation periods be supervised. The supervisor can be a person approved by the parents, or someone appointed by the judge.