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Parenting times, visitation can be creative, uniquely tailored

A parenting plan outlining visitation and child custody in a divorce agreement quite often covers standard holidays and summer vacations, with a clear delineation of the time that the kids spend with each parent (often equally divided).

These days, however, many fathers are putting more thought into the time they would like to spend with their children. Special times and events that are far removed from traditional holidays might hold special meaning or significance in some families, and they are increasingly factoring into parenting plans. The case with one father near Chicago is instructive.

Most holidays were equally divided between the parents, with full visitation rights on Easter, winter break and Memorial Day granted to the father. In addition, Michael, whose last name was not revealed to protect his children, requested full visitation rights on St. Patrick's Day, Super Bowl Sunday and the NCAA Men's Basketball Finals -- if Syracuse University was playing in the finals.

Michael grew up a Syracuse fan, passionate about the memories that he and his father had shared during the games. Although not exactly constituting a holiday, he considers the finals holy.

"Other people define themselves by their religion or race," he says. "Frankly, Syracuse sports, especially basketball, football and lacrosse, are a big part of my heritage."

Many fathers nationwide, including in Georgia, are increasingly asking for visitation and custody for times and events that might have been historically considered as unusual requests by courts. Michael said neither attorney in his divorce case had ever heard of his particular request, but they helped the couple incorporate it into their parenting plan.

Source: Yahoo! Sports, "Syracuse fan makes unusual custody request in divorce settlement," Jeff Eisenberg, July 27, 2012

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