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Making A Child Visitation Schedule For An Abusive Situation

If you have lived with a spouse or significant other who was abuse, that may have been cause for a divorce or separation. If violence occurs between parents or if one parent is abusive to the other, it is usually unsafe for the parents to have any contact with each other during child visitation and custody. In some cases, an abusive parent uses visitation as a way to continue abusive contact with and exercise control over the other, more vulnerable parent. Because this can happen, a child may be at risk during visitation. It is important to have a clear and detailed visitation schedule to counteract the possibly dangerous situation of visitation between abusive parents. In the case of an abusive parent or spouse, having a clear and understandable visitation schedule is a must and it should include:

  1. Information about exchanges and visits – supervised visits may be court mandated. In this case, the visitation schedule should include information about who supervises visits and when and where those visits take place

  2. Information about communication – if communication is also a means to gain control over a vulnerable parent, it may be necessary for third party communication to be established. Using a neutral third party to communicate about visits and provisions might be needed

  3. Provisions about vacations and holidays – there may need to be clauses or provisions about how holidays and vacations are spent so there is little or no contact between parents

  4. Information about how changes to the schedule will occur – this may fall under the communication section of the visitation schedule if contact between parents is discouraged

If you are an abused parent in a divorce or separation situation, you need to establish ground rules using a visitation schedule. You should use a visitation schedule to outline how visits and exchanges occur, who is there with you and where they take place.

Keep in mind that an abusive parent only wants to regain or exercise control over the abused parent. It may be necessary to have additional court hearings to determine if supervised visits are necessary and if a restraining order needs to be put in place.

It is vital that your child knows he or she is most important but safety is also important. Creating a child visitation schedule that outlines specific information about your situation is a must. Your visitation schedule should include all necessary information and documents for both parents to know how visitation and custody work.

Protect yourself and your child with a child visitation schedule. Decrease confusion and keep yourself and your child out of dangerous situations with a good visitation schedule.