Making the Most of Visitation

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Mar 31, 2022 | 0 Comments

While custody arrangements involving visitation are rarely straightforward, time with your children can be a source of joy for you and an opportunity to provide a source of emotional security for your kids.

Rules of Thumb

It's important to gear what you're doing with your visits to your children's ages and interests, but there are a few general rules to follow in any event:

  • Always show up on time or early. The visits will be something your child will look forward to, and being late or missing a visit can be incredibly disappointing. Conversely, being consistent will build a foundation of trust, as your child will develop a sense that you will do what you say you will. So, make sure you plan for a definite way to get to the visit and give yourself plenty of time.
  • Be positive and enjoy your interaction with the children. Don't use the time to talk in a negative way about the other parent or ask for information about what the other parent is doing.
  • Make goodbyes as painless as possible. If you can, establish a small ritual so your child—and you—know that you'll see each other again soon.

Visitation Guidelines by Age

The way to best approach visitation depends a great deal on the age of the children. Every stage has its challenges but is also a lot of fun.


The first year of a child's life is critical to developing a bond with both parents. Even with visitation every few days, you'll see a change in your infant.

At this age, just being there is the most important thing. Cuddles, talking, singing (babies don't care if you can't carry a tune in a bucket), and feeding times are all rich experiences for an infant. Put down your phone as much as practically possible—this is a magical age that goes by in a flash.

Toddlers and Preschoolers (1-4 years)

This is a time of rapid development. Acquiring language and starting to make sense of the world, toddlers are forming foundational memories of their family experience.

Feeling safe and attended to while exploring the world is most important at this stage. Find out what your child's favorite things to do are at the other parent's home and watch your child's reactions to new things so you can get a sense of what works.

If your child is very active physically, go to the park and play on structures meant for little people, or get out in the yard for supervised play. Blow bubbles or kick a ball around.

Age-appropriate books build a love of stories and lay the groundwork for strong reading skills down the road.

Listen to music and dance like nobody's watching.

Separation anxiety can be a major issue during this phase; some parents find that always dropping off rather than getting picked up works best, so the child doesn't feel one parent is interrupting the time with the other.

Older Children (5-12)

Kids at this age often have jam-packed schedules, so adjusting your calendar to school and extra-curricular events is really important in making sure you get the quality time that is your due. It can be complicated and mean a lot of trade-offs in life to make it happen.

Kids this age get more flexible and are growing into humans with interests, so trips to the zoo or museum or a ball game or a concert can be great experiences you can both enjoy.

This is the time for conversation and getting to know your children as people. What music or movies do they like and why? Who are their friends? Truly listening to your children not only them a sense that their opinions matter to you.


As teenagers will remind you every chance they get, they aren't kids anymore. The push and pull of who gets to make which decisions is a daily tussle.

Find common ground and things you can enjoy together. Go to the game, the play, the awards ceremony. They will remember you were there, and you will, too.

A Final Word

While visitation can seem less than ideal, it also offers a chance to be on your own with your kids and be the parent you want to be. The time you have is valuable and allows you to play a crucial role in the people they will become.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm can help with visitation and custody questions and concerns. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact a Family Law Attorney Today!

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.