Share your 3 year old's visitation schedule... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 01-27-2009, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Without my opinion influencing answers....please share with me your three year old's current visitation schedule with the non-custodial parent. Past visitation schedule leading up to current schedule would be helpful.....

Also...give me your opinion...if you don't have a visitation schedule, if both bio parent's reside together, etc. what do you *think* would be the most appropriate visitation schedule for a three year old???

Thank you!!!!!!!
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#2 of 17 Old 01-27-2009, 10:26 PM
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My partner and his ex have joint custody and shared placement.

The schedule my SD had at 3 is the same as the one she has now:

Year-round until kindergarten/school year after that:
Weekdays at Mom's (in City 1)
Weekends at Dad's (in City 2, 70 miles away)

Summers, starting after kindergarten:
Weekdays at Dad's
Weekends at Mom's (which aren't really weekends, as SD's mom works Saturdays--last summer, it was Sunday and Monday, and SD went to an inexpensive day camp here the rest of the week)

Holidays ad-hoc (I think the written agreement calls for some arcane alternation, but it always gets decided based on who has to work when). Most changes for things like family vacations, special events, etc., can be accommodated with reasonable notice.

The written schedule actually allows for the parent with weekday custody to have one weekend a month with their child, but it's never really worked that way due to SD's mom's work schedule.

She handled it well--her parents had been separated since she was maybe a year old, and she was used to seeing one parent at a time.

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#3 of 17 Old 01-27-2009, 10:45 PM
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I've been seperated from dd's dad since before she was born. I'll share what we have done so far.

Birth-3mo: she was in the hospital.
3mo- 6mo: dad visited dd in my home for an hour or two per week.
6mo-9mo: no visits.
9mo- 15mo: 4-6hr visits once a week at his home.
15mo- 3y3mo (now): Overnight visit every other week (@18hrs) and 6hr visit on the same day on the alternate weeks.

So far so good, with a period of seperation anxiety for about 6months during her 2yo year. It was developmentally appropriate for her

eta: we do not have holidays written in (nor is her visitation schedule written) but holidays are fluid for us and we are able to work together to get something reasonable worked out.
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#4 of 17 Old 01-27-2009, 11:12 PM
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My ex and I have been divorced since my son was 1. I think until the time he was almost 2 my ex would spend every other weekend with him at my house (and I'd go stay some other place). We then moved to every other weekend and when he was 3 (and now) he had him every other weekend and once a week. We try to do things together with our son every once in a while so sometimes on the weekend that he has him we'll all have dinner at my and my DFs house. He seems to do well with that schedule. We all try to work together to raise him and it seems to work out well for the most part.

We alternate holidays. That has been more of a struggle than anything.
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#5 of 17 Old 01-27-2009, 11:27 PM
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Our visitation is not written out. I have primary physical, we share joint legal. Visitation is basically at my discretion. "My discretion" is to let him see ds every single time he asks.

I left ex when ds was 2 months old. From that time until he was about 8 months old (when we went to court) I brought ds to ex's parents house at least once a week, usually 2-3 times a week. Ex hardly interacted with ds at all and mostly slept during that time.

8-9 1/2 months old- ex had ds for 1 hour visits 3 times a week
9 1/2-11 months old- ex had ds for 2 hour visits 3 times a week
11-13 months old- ex had ds for 3 hour visits 3 times a week

At this point he was supposed to "move up" to 4 hour visits. He told me he didn't want to and then at this point ex decided to stop taking ds on visits at all.

From 13 months- 3 1/2 years I let ex see ds whenever he wanted to. This was an average of 3 times per year. Some of those were "accidental sightings" where we ran into each other but ex didn't actually interact or visit with ds at all.

At 3 1/2 years ds and I moved out of the state. From 3 1/2 years to now (5 years) I've taken ds back to Michigan about every 8 weeks for a weekend. Ex always knows ahead of time when these weekends are and can see ds anytime during these weekend. He's taken advantage of it a couple times, but has never seen ds for more than 3 hours during these visits and they are supervised by me. He has gone months without seeing ds (letting 2-3 visits go by without seeing him).

But that's not your typical visitation schedule

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

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#6 of 17 Old 01-28-2009, 12:12 PM
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DSD is 6 now, but I can tell you how things were when she was three. DH and DSD's mom split when she was one. They had a really flexible schedule then. DH would go over to the house in the mornings when DSD's mom went to work, get the kids ready for school or a babysitter, then go to his job. He would also see DSD (and often her sister) on weekend days.

DH let DSD's mom keep living in his house and moved in with his mom. He didn't feel comfortable doing overnights there, so he didn't start having DSD overnight until she was 2 1/2. DSD's sister also came along on some of the overnights. He stopped going over to the house in the mornings at that time, because DSD's mom decided that she didn't like her job and didn't decide to go back to work for about 18 months.

The month she turned three, we had her all month. DSD's sister's dad who lived in another state passed away, and DSD's mom took the sister to see family and be there for the funeral.

After that, it was every other long weekend (Fri-Mon or Tues or Thurs-Sun). It depended on DH's work schedule - at the time he had a lot of days off. It was pretty flexible and DH would often take DSD if her mom had plans.

Right before DSD turned 4, DSD started a schedule that basically led up to 50/50 custody. It started with Fri night-Monday night, increasing a day a month until it was week on, week off, with a few stumbles along the way.

The whole thing went about as well as could be expected. There used to be a lot of hard good-byes, but at this point she is used to the schedule (I think it helps having a set schedule).

IF DH and I split when DS was three (not that it is in the plans AT ALL), we would probably wind up with a 50/50 split, but not week on/week off until he was a little older. Maybe a 3 days/week alternating with 4 days the next week or something like that, but working up to it since he is used to being with me all day. DH is a pretty strong believer that even when parents split, both parents need to be equally present in a child's life. I would have a hard time fighting him on that point even though I would really miss DS.


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#7 of 17 Old 01-28-2009, 02:56 PM
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DSD has pretty much always had the same schedule since her parents split when she was 2... she is now 4.5.

Tuesday and Thursday nights she'd visit from after preschool, about 4:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Then overnight every other weekend from Friday after school til Sunday 7:30 at night.

Holidays are rotated each year.

Unfortunately in October DH got moved to another shift at work and works nights now, so we only get DSD every other weekend... however, if there are any extended holidays or long weekends we get her extra time. Generally her Mom has been pretty decent about giving us extra weekend time.

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#8 of 17 Old 01-28-2009, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thank you guys so much. X and I agreed upon no overnights until DS is 3, and now that that time is approaching, we are redoing our current visitation schedule. I'm just trying to figure out what is "typical" of that age.. I'm thinking e/o weekend (Saturday 8 AM until Sunday 6 PM) and one weekday visit a week. Currently X get's DS every Saturday from 8-5. The transition will be gradual working up to the e/o weekend hours, but we will see what we come up with.

DS is bfing and co-sleeping with my hubby and I. My DH is also daddy (X DH and I agreed mutually), and has been invoved since I was pregnant. X appeared about 8 months after DS was born, and has been really good with working up to longer visits (started out a few hours in my house), didn't force overnights, etc. DS has a strong bond to me and whenever he is separated from me for longer than 6 or 7 hours we notice really negative behaviors from him (whining, hitting, yelling, tantrums, withdrawn) that is a whole new thread of it's own, I'm sure!

If you have any thoughts/ suggestions/ experience let me know!
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#9 of 17 Old 01-28-2009, 04:26 PM
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We had 50/50 custody, which I don't think is what you had in mind. But we also went from my husband seeing his daughter one weekend a month to 50/50 custody because he and his ex agreed that would be best for their daughter. She was one at the time of the switch, and the focus of the custody arrangement was that she wouldn't go longer than 2 or 3 days without seeing the other parent. So we did M-T with us, W-Th, then alternating F-S-Su. Since that gives one person or the other a 5-day stretch every week, there was a 4 hour visit in the middle of that stretch.

The e/o weekend and one night a week means that your son will go a week without seeing dad. If it were me, I would see how I could keep that down to 3 or 4 days in between.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#10 of 17 Old 01-28-2009, 05:19 PM - Thread Starter
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With his work schedule and mine (he works long days, I work pm's and take DS with me) plus we have an hour commute between us (we meet half way), I just don't think that would work out. I have a feeling the visit mid-week isn't going to work out, it hasn't up until now. I have always given him chances to see DS during the week, and he never can because of work, so I don't see this working out either.
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#11 of 17 Old 01-29-2009, 06:43 PM
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When my ex and I separated he would come to my home and visit our then 3 yr old. After 1 month he started 1 overnight every other weekend and every Wed night for 3 hours. After another month he started seeing him every other Friday for 3 hours in the evening. After 1 more month he started doing every other weekend Friday night to Sunday night. The schedule is still EOW and every other Friday night for 3 hours and it works out very well.

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#12 of 17 Old 02-01-2009, 10:42 PM
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My child is now older, but when she was 3 this is what we did.

Regular visits once a week at my home. He would come over and I would make myself scarce for a few hours. I know some people would say this is unrealistic, but we did it for the better part of four years.
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#13 of 17 Old 02-01-2009, 11:44 PM
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My state has an "official" visitation can modify it in your divorce.custody order, but this is the standard, and sometimes judges won't let you deviate too much.
This is for kids 3+ years old

1. Regular Parenting Time

(1) On alternating weekends from Friday at 6:00 P.M. until Sunday at 6:00 P.M. (the times may change to fit the parents’ schedules).

(2) One (1) evening per week, preferably in mid-week, for a period of up to four hours but the child shall be returned no later than 9:00 p.m.

(3) On all scheduled holidays.


Where the distance from the non-custodial parent’s residence makes it reasonable, the weekday period may be extended to an overnight stay. In such circumstances, the responsibility of feeding the child the next morning, getting the child to school or day care, or returning the child to the residence of the custodial parent, if the child is not in school, shall be on the non-custodial parent.

2. Extended Parenting Time (Child 3 through 4 Years Old)

Up to four (4) non-consecutive weeks during the year beginning at 4:00 P.M. on Sunday until 4:00 P.M. on the following Sunday, the non-custodial parent to give sixty (60) days advance notice of the use of a particular week.

Here is what the schedul for a 19-36 month old child would be like.....
(C) Age 19 Months through 36 Months:

(1) Alternate weekends on Saturdays for ten (10) hours and on Sundays for ten (10) hours. The child is to be returned at least one hour before bedtime, unless overnight is appropriate under Rule 1.

(2) One (1) “day” preferably in mid-week for three (3) hours, the child to be returned at least one (1) hour before evening bedtime, unless overnight during the week is appropriate under Rule 1.

(3) All scheduled holidays for ten (10) hours. The child is to be returned one hour before bedtime.

(4) If the non-custodial parent who did not initially have substantial care responsibilities has exercised the scheduled parenting time under these guidelines for at least nine (9) continuous months, overnight parenting time may take place.

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#14 of 17 Old 02-02-2009, 03:50 PM
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I have a three year old dd and a three year old dsd So I can tell you two different ways.

My dd: EX and I live 5 minutes apart (I bought in a different neighborhood, but close to him so the kids would not be far from school friends at either house)

We have a 50/50 split during the school year. Ex has every monday/Tuesday, I have every Wed/Thurs, we alternate Fri afterschool through Monday before school. It works out to a 5/5/2/2 rotation. I really like it (as much as you can like a 50/50 split) better than a week on/week off because I can sign them up for afterschool activities on Wed or Thurs and not have to have them miss class eow or have to ask ex if he will agree to take them, it is also nice to only have 5 days apart instead of 7.

Summer: I am a teacher, ex is an elem. principal. We basically keep everything the same, however, I have off from 2nd week of June-4th week of August, he is only off for July. So in June and August, on his days, he drops the kids to me when he works and picks them up after work. It is great because it means no day-care for them and I only miss eo Sat/Sun with them for those two months

My dsd: DH allowed his ex to move 1 1/4 hours away to be closer to a support system (yes, allowed, as the courts had said she had to remain in a surrounding county and he had to sign to allow her to move further) mistakingly believing that this concession would cause her to be nicer to him. They have Shared Parenting, just as my ex and I do, but because of the distance a 50/50 split does not work. one week we have dsd from 8:00 am Thursday-2:30 pm Friday (we own our chiropractic office so we have it closed on Thursdays for dh to spend the day with Maidson, Fri she goes to a sitter from 8-1, we close the office from 1-4 for Matt to take her to her mom's) the next week we have her from 8:00 Thursday morning until 6:00 Sunday evening.
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#15 of 17 Old 02-05-2009, 02:39 AM
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My DSD is 7.5 now but at 3, her visitation schedule was 3 overnights, sometimes 4, a week. It was fairly fluid. The nights would be concurrent or any variation thereof.

Up until last fall we had her every weekend, now it's school vacations only due to a major cross country move by her mother.

"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity."
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#16 of 17 Old 02-05-2009, 03:00 AM
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This is an interesting topic and something I've worried over myself. My kids are 3, almost 2, almost 1 now and when I separated from their Dad they were 2, 16 mo, 3 mo.

My 2 & 3 year old have the same visitation schedule. Right now they go e/o weekend Fri 5pm-Sun 7pm and Tues,Thurs eves from 5pm-7:30pm. This seems to be working for them now but was hard for them to adjust to. They also have separate over nights during the week occasionally (to give me a bit of a break) where just one child will go stay the night and come back in the morning when Dad goes to work.

When we first started they just saw him from 5pm-8pm Monday -Thursday. That was REALLY hard for them.

Holidays are split every other year. Half one year/half the next then rotate. We do birthdays together. That means 3 times a year, we actually do something together with the children and it seems to work for now because we get along OK and I know it's important for the children to see that we still like the other parent.

Married Busy Mom to DSS 01/05, DD 11/05, DSD 11/06, DD 02/07, DS 03/08 and baby on the way 11/10
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#17 of 17 Old 02-05-2009, 12:31 PM
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Tynme, it sounds like your ds is still cosleeping and breastfeeding at night. Why not put off overnights until your ds weans and moves to another sleeping place (which could be next month, or next year)? It seems to me like it's courting trouble to force those two things, esp. if he's very strongly bonded to you. Talk to XH and see what he thinks...
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