In Pennsylvania, one of the options for custody of your child(ren) is to have partial custody or visitation periods. "Partial custody" is defined in PA law as "the right to assume physical custody of the child for less than a majority of the time." This means that you may have every other weekend and maybe a weeknight with your child(ren), or whatever schedule you and the child(ren)'s other parent have decided on. But - how do you make the most out of your custody time when you are only seeing your children for maybe two days per week? Our blog today discusses this topic and you can maximize the time you get to spend with your child(ren) under you Pennsylvania child custody order.
Ways to Maximize your Partial Custody periods with your Child(ren):
1) Make them feel comfortable. Children of many ages have one thing in common -they like routine, structure, and consistency. Make sure that when they are at your house, they have one place that is their own space. Make sure they are always sleeping in the same area and provide some extra comfort by purchasing blankets/pillows of their choosing. Also, make sure that there are things at your home that they like. Maybe it's a few of their favorite toys, a snack in the kitchen that they love, or a collection of DVD's that they like to watch. Whatever the case may be, they should feel comfortable in your home even though they are only there a few days out of the week.
2) Schedule kid/parent time. In our busy lives, sometimes this is easier said than done. But when you only get a few days of week with your child(ren), you should build time with your kids into your schedule. Maybe you can make an arrangement to work extra hours on the days when you don't have your kids so that on the days when your kids are with you, you can leave work at a decent time and make plans to have special time with them.
3) Allow them to talk to their other parent while with you. Even though it may seem counter-intuitive to allow this time, you don't want to look like the "bad parent" by not allowing your child(ren) to make phone calls to their other parent while with you. Of course- make sure this is in moderation.
4) Ask your kids what they want to do. Maybe your idea of "quality time" is not the same as theirs. Ask your kids in advance what they want to do when they come to your house. Also, don't force activities if your kids are definitely not interested. Try to get a feel for their interests so that the activities you choose will be fun for them (and memorable!)
If you follow these tips, you will be able to have enjoyable time with your child(ren) during your custody time with them. And remember, talking negatively about the other parent to your child(ren) only makes things worse!
Questions? Our PA Partial Custody Lawyers can help! Contact us today!