Visitation is the legal term for the right of a non-custodial parent to visit with his or her children. Typically, the non-custodial spouse has a legal right to parenting time, unless the family court finds that visitation is not in the best interest of the child. States vary in their approach to visitation rights although it generally consists of alternating weekends and some holidays. The visitation schedule is stated in the final divorce agreement and may be modified by further court order. It is important to have an experienced attorney representing you in the negotiation of your divorce agreement so that you are assured of protecting your visitation rights.

Visitation is generally considered only a privilege granted to the non-custodial parent of the child of the family. At or around the age of 13, depending on the state, a child may choose in which parent’s home to live without government interference. Parents (and in some jurisdictions grandparents) frequently believe that they have a right to visitation or access; however, many courts have used the subjective doctrine of the best interests of the child to deny parental or grandparental access to the child/children. This is commonly found in cases when custody of the child/children is disputed and where there is a history of interference with visitation. In such high conflict cases, there are often allegations of child abuse and/or domestic violence. If you have been denied visitation rights and you do not believe it is in the best interests of your child, a family law attorney specializing in visitation rights legal services can represent your interests in court.

Supervised and Non-Supervised Visitation

When a noncustodial parent has a history of violent or destructive behavior, especially toward the child, the court often requires that visitation between that parent and the child be supervised. This means that an adult (other than the custodial parent) must be present at all times during the visit. The adult may be known or unknown to the child, and may be someone agreed on by the parents or appointed by the court. No matter how the adult is chosen, he or she must be approved by the court that ordered the supervised visitation.

Many noncustodial parents have visitation orders that allow the child to visit with them without any supervision. These visits often take place away from the custodial residence. Often the noncustodial parent is granted overnight visitation, weekend visitation, or vacation visitation.

Grandparents Visitation Rights

All 50 states currently have some type of “grandparent visitation” statute, through which grandparents and sometimes others (foster parents and stepparents, for example) can ask a court to grant them the legal right to maintain their relationships with their grandchildren. State laws vary greatly when it comes to the crucial details, such as who can visit and under what circumstances, and the courts give great deference to a parent’s decision to limit grandparent visitation.

Your child’s grandparents may take you to court to try to force visitation. If there is a reason why your child should not visit with a grandparent, you should have a family law attorney represent your interests in court. AARP offers useful information on grandparent visitation.

Joint Custody Agreements and Reasonable Visitation

Parents may also share custody and may agree to allow visitation. In these situations a court order may not be needed, though sometimes it is obtained to forestall later disputes about what the parents had previously agreed to, and to allow the courts to have some oversight over the children (which they normally have under statute and under the parens patriae power).

When a court determines the visitation rights of a noncustodial parent, it usually orders “reasonable” visitation, leaving it to the parents to work out a precise schedule of time and place. This allows the parents to exercise flexibility by taking into consideration both the parents’ and the children’s schedules. Practically speaking, however, the parent with physical custody has more control over the dates, times, and duration of visits. He or she isn’t legally obligated to agree to any particular schedule, but judges do take note of who is and who is not flexible.

If you’ve already agreed to reasonable visitation and it isn’t working out — for example, one parent is consistently late, skips scheduled visits, or doesn’t inform the other parent where he or she is planning on taking the children — you can go back to court and ask that the arrangement be changed. If you feel that your ex-spouse is not affording you the “reasonable visitation” to which you are entitled, a family law attorney who is experienced with visitation legal services can help you.

Related Posts
Why to hire dui lawyer
You must have heard of the friends or family members being caught under the DUI. Definitely, Driving under Influence is not a small case. In fact most of the states ...
READ MORE
Alimony
Alimony means the financial spousal support that the financially strong spouse pays to the other after the divorce. Alimony law has been made because in the earlier times women did not ...
READ MORE
Driving license suspension: Know how your driving license can be suspended
Driving is not just a right, it is actually a privilege. A lot of people are not concerned about losing their license when they speed up and cross a stop ...
READ MORE
The Family and Medical Leave Act
Administered by the Wage and Hour Division, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers of 50 or more employees to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected ...
READ MORE
Social Security disability definition
Social Security Advisory Board has asked whether the Social Security disability definition should be changed in some fundamental way. The Disability Policy Panel studied this question at length and reached ...
READ MORE
Driving license suspended? how to preventions
Driving privileges can be revoked for reasonable violations. These violations may pertain to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated that leads to disobedience to simple or complex road ...
READ MORE
Medical records are important
Personal injury lawsuit is very expensive and time consuming legal endeavour. This type of lawsuit involves monetary claims for damages incurred by the victim as well as for the injuries ...
READ MORE
Understand the DUI police report
The dui police report you receive contains the evidences against you in the DUI case. These are the evidences that you must overcome in the trial. The report will have the ...
READ MORE
Declaring bankruptcy
Declaring bankruptcy is one of the many options a debtor can perform when he can no longer meet the terms of his financial obligations to his creditors. In the United ...
READ MORE
Why to hire dui lawyer
Alimony
Know how your driver license can be suspended
The Family and Medical Leave Act
Contact Affordable Lawyer
Social Security disability definition
Driving license suspended? how to preventions
Medical records are important
Understand the DUI police report
Declaring Bankruptcy