The Judge Placed me on a “Fixed Visitation” Schedule, What is that?
When you and your partner leave the visitation arrangements to a judge,the court will likely enact a fixed visitation schedule, or a schedule that neither parent can alter without further modification between the parents, or further order of the court. Failure to follow the fixed visitation schedule could result in either party being held in contempt of the court, which includes facing fines and/or jail time.
With fixed visitation schedules, the court will often specify the time, place and day of the week, to ensure that the child can count on the weekly consistency of the arrangement, completely taking it out of the hands of the parents. Once this arrangement has been made, it cannot be altered without court approval or further agreement between the parties.
If you have a fixed visitation schedule, and have good reason to be unhappy with it, you may petition the court to change it to better suit your needs as well as your child’s. However, this is not always successful.
Obviously, a fixed visitation schedule is not ideal for most parents who want a visitation schedule that will correspond with their own scheduling needs. If it is possible to civilly construct a visitation schedule together, without the intrusion of the courts, it should be done. However, if you do civilly make an arrangement that is approved by the courts, but later find that one parent or the other has issues with sticking to your agreed visitation schedule, you may still petition the courts to change the visitation schedule.
If you have further questions about your fixed visitation schedule, how to change it, or want to discuss further points in creating a visitation schedule, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney who can guide you through the process.