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Dos and don'ts during visitation

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After your divorce, a visitation schedule may be used to keep both you and your ex involved in your child's life. Research has found that this is very beneficial for the child, and it's important to remember this list of dos and don'ts.

What You Should Do

1. Be willing to just hang out with the child. Don't assume you always need an activity.

2. Be flexible when it comes to scheduling to accommodate the child and your ex.

3. Be respectful of your ex. You don't have to like each other, but you need to be civil for the child.

4. Always show up on time. Be reliable.

What You Shouldn't Do

1. Don't try to undermine your ex's relationship with the child. Remember that it's best if you both have a strong relationship with him or her.

2. Don't refuse to talk to your ex. Communication is the key to making things go smoothly, even when it's hard.

3. Don't put the responsibilities on the child. For instance, you and your ex should work together to schedule the visits, rather than asking the child to do it.

4. Don't let your own emotions get in the way. Never punish the child because you're angry with your ex.

5. Don't try to buy a child's love. Don't spoil him or her in an attempt to become the favorite parent.

All in all, you and your ex need to focus on the child's best interests and do what is most helpful for him or her. If you think your ex isn't doing this and is violating your rights, be sure you know what legal options you have.

Source:, "Visitation dos and don'ts," Jolene McCoy, accessed April 03, 2017

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