Like Sunshyn(dear god, your situation is my worst nightmare! I hurt for you.) I would definitely stipulate that third parties present overnight for visits was not acceptable. We are in a weird situation in that we were very amicable in the beginning(read: I was stupid in love with him and did anything he wanted essentially) and so our divorce was very basic. I took no alimony, the basic bare minimum child support, no medical for myself, joint custody, and visitation stated "as parties agree." *sigh* SO for the last 3 years since our daughter turned 2 and I allowed overnights, our schedule has been Tuesday 4-7:30, Thursday 4-7:30, and Friday at 4 until Saturday at 4. It.sucks.bad. We don't exactly have equal distribution of responsibilities and because I wanted him so badly I pretty much took over all the crap jobs like pedi visits, swim lessons, etc and schedule them during my time so he could have them free and clear for his time. So I jam in doctors and dentists and orthodontists and lessons and sports into my time iwth them and 3 nights per week he gets to jst enjoy their company and have fun. They are now 12, 8, and 5 and I am slowly firing back and forcing him to take on some responsibility. Holidays go as such: Mother's Day and Father's Day with the appropriate parent if they request it(I always do. Him notsomuch). Thanksgiving is his, the weekend closest to 4th of July is open to him for the family party they always have. I get Christmas morning and Easter morning with them and he gets from noon to dinnertime on both days. Christmas Eve he gets them for church with his family and brings them home to me at bedtime.
Ideally visitation would be Wednesday 4-7:30pm and every other weekend either Friday night around 5 or 6pm until Sunday around 3 or 4pm. I'd even be willing to negotiate to 2 week nights as long as he was amenable to doing some doctor's visits or lessons during his time. I would keep our current holiday schedules because it seems they are working well for us and both of us are fairly happy with it. The problems I see with our current schedule is that while it DOES keep him in their lives every weekend, it also limits us to socialization because I want to spend time iwth them on Sunday when I see them instead of running them to friends' houses or birthday parties. I tend to keep taht stuff at bay in order to spend time with them but it doesn't do them any favors socially. And he won't take those things on. If I were to do it again, I would insist on both parties being responsible for appts that fall on their day instead of bending over backwards to take the child with the appt to the appt while he spent relaxing enjoyable time ith the others, thereby forfeiting my alone time. I would also insist on a court-ordered schedule instead of "as parties agree." I thought it would benefit me because it would give us the room to negotiate over the years as the kids' schedule changed but it just keeps me doing all the work and him getting off scot-free. "As parties agree" SEEMED beneficial but now I realize that having the need to stick to a legal schedule would have eliminated the fear of "rocking the boat" and arguing about visitation.