How unconventional can custody arrangements get? Is every other weekend the only option?
Custody arrangements with visitation every other weekend and perhaps one mid week evening is generally considered the norm. However custody arrangements actually vary quite dramatically from one family to another.
Perhaps the first place people look for strange behavior is among the Hollywood stars.
Britney Spears has certainly shown us what not to do in a divorce and custody case and her custody of her kids has suffered because of it. 50 cent is reported to have his son for one year at a time then swapping with his ex for one year. He says this works for them. Sharon Stone is also reported to have the same arrangement for her adopted son, Roan.
Some parents who swap their kids back and forth a lot have decided to keep the children in one house and each parent then moves in and out according to an agreed schedule. This is a rather expensive option but it shows the length to which parents will go to put their kids and family first.
International visitation arrangements often consist of the summer vacation spent with the other parent in the other country. Some judges have gone as far as to require a large financial bond to ensure that visitation continues even after the child is out of the country.
"The judge has wide discretion in fashioning contact in visitations. It's based upon what's in the best interest of the child, so anything that we view as being in the child's best interests, we will do," says Florida Judge James E.C. Perry.
There is increasing interest in using the Internet for visitation. With more broadband connections available, full video conferencing over the Internet can be used to allow parents to keep in touch with their children especially when they live far apart.
Crafting custody arrangements to suit individual families seems to make sense as long as the best interests of the child are preserved. In the long run this is likely to result in better cooperation between the parents, less conflict and better relationships between the children and their parents.
Have you an unusual custody arrangement? Share it with us to show others that they do not have to accept "normal" visitation.