chapter  21
10 Pages

Visitation in High-Conflict Families: The Impact on a Child's Inner Life

I n the aftermath of parental separation, critical decisions must be made that have significant effects on the shape and structure of the postdivorce family. Parents and children alike are profoundly affected by these decisions, which guide the family from its former ways, through the disruptive period of dissolution, to the time when previously familiar relationships are shaped into new patterns. Indeed, much of the writing and research on the postdivorce life of children centers on the issue of custody. Considerably less has been written on the issue of visitation. Unlike custody, which has specific definitions covering sole legal custody, sole physical custody, shared legal custody, and shared phySical custody, visitation in the law has no such preset formulas or guidelines.