Ending a relationship is never easy, but when a child is involved, the whole situation becomes far more complex. Florida courts will always consider what's in the best interests of a child when deciding custody, but when it comes to visitation, parents have the option of agreeing to a reasonable visitation plan. Under this visitation agreement, the two parents themselves, without the help of the courts, will decide upon their own visitation schedule.
A reasonable visitation plan means parents can work around other responsibilities in their lives, but for this to work, the parents involved must be fully willing to cooperate. If the relationship is contentious on even one side, this type of visitation agreement might not be the best. Additionally, if two parents opt for this type of agreement but it becomes obvious that one isn't being treated fairly, it's possible to go back to the courts and request a fixed schedule.
It's important to remember that, in these situations, the custodial parent often has more say. It is largely up to them to decide what constitutes "reasonable" in these types of agreements. When a reasonable visitation agreement works out, it can turn a potential court battle into nothing more than a quick phone call to set up a schedule. In the end, these types of arrangements benefit the child because there is less of a combative environment between the two parents.
No one enjoys having a judge making their visitation decisions for them, but for many, this is the only option. When two parents are willing to rationally work together, however, a much more positive solution exists. A family law attorney may be able to navigate parents through the visitation process in court for a positive outcome for all involved.
Source: Findlaw, "The judge mentioned "reasonable visitation," what does that mean? ", December 24, 2014