When a couple with children splits up, emotions run high, and it is difficult to make decisions that are well grounded in reason (in the best interests of the children). Visitation is one of the issues that will need to be decided, with such considerations as when the visits take place, how often, holidays, birthdays and summer vacations. If the split is bitter, making these decisions becomes even harder. Remember, the children are suffering just as much as the parents.
Try to come to an amicable agreement with your spouse---let him or her know you only want what is best for the children and that you are trying to make decisions that will benefit them. If this is not possible, give your spouse a polite reminder that you will be requesting visits with your children through the court.
Visit your local courthouse and ask the court clerk about the process for requesting visitation through Family Court. She will give you the pertinent paperwork and walk you through the process. Read the paperwork and become familiar with it. See Resources.
Ask your attorney about the possibility of visits with your children prior to the hearing---keep in mind that ongoing contact will be vital for their emotional well-being. If you are told about mandatory classes for divorcing parents, communicate your willingness and ability to participate. See Resources.
Fill your paperwork out with your attorney, taking care to request exactly the kind of contact you wish to have, whether it is weekends, weeknights, alternating holidays, birthdays and summer vacations. Be prepared for your spouse's attorney to ask questions about your home, lifestyle and ability to provide for your children's needs while they are with you.
Find out if you will have to pay a fee and how much it will cost for you to have your visitation paperwork filed with your local courthouse. If it is necessary in your community, purchase a money order for the exact amount and give this to your attorney for filing.