Understanding Child Custody and Visitation Rights

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By Admin Desk

The right of non-custodial parents to share time with the kids is regulated by child visitation legislation. 

As part of larger family law processes associated with topics like divorce, breakup, spousal support, child benefit, and custody, these issues are normally resolved by state courts. 

For unique, regularly scheduled periods, visiting rights authorize the parent with whom the child does not reside to take physical custody of the child.

With regard to child visitation, a variety of legal battles may occur. A visiting arrangement may not be approved by the parents, forcing the judge to step in and evaluate the situation. 

If a schedule has been decided, one parent may believe that the need to adjust the schedule has been generated by later developments, leading to possible conflict between the parents. 

Contention may also occur when the custodial parent thinks that during visits, the child is not adequately cared for, when the non-custodial parent holds the child later than approved, or when a grandparent wants access over the parents’ opposition.

Regardless of the essence of a visitation conflict, a hostile emotional environment created by the breakdown of the previous marital relationship of the parents also characterizes this aspect of the law.  

Sadly, the child would be the one who struggles most when parents do not act amicably.

Understanding “Best Interests of the Child”

Family law courts resolve child visitation conflicts by enforcing a principle known as “Best Interest.” 

This term is used to refer to the physical, emotional, and developmental well-being of a child, expressed almost identically by courts of every state. 

Especially in circumstances where the essence of the conflict between parents over child visitation has more to do with their self-interests. 

Many laws for child visitation appeal to the child’s best interests and then include a list of considerations to be considered by the court when implementing the norm. 

These variables also include the personal attachment of every parent to the child, the monetary assistance contributed by each parent, etc.

Establishing Visitation Rights

The very first stage to acquiring a child visitation permit would rely on whether a family law case had been associated with the parties through attorneys.

If so, a petition for visitation may be prepared by the non-custodial parent and filed in the current case. 

The procedure would be as easy as submitting a specified document to the judge for his or her signature, as long as both parents consent that the petition is necessary. 

As part of a divorce or separation lawsuit, visitation may be demanded while the parents are married. 

Before the court can consider the validity of the visitation request, fathers pursuing these cases will be expected to claim legitimacy and show they are honoring child support requirements.

Alteration To Visitation Schedule

One of the most vigorously litigated topics in family law is the shift in child visits. This is not unexpected, as between the time the initial order is entered, and the child turns 18, the living condition of the parties is likely to have evolved. 

Since child support depends on the amount of time each parent has access to, petitions are usually made at the same time to change visitation and benefits.

Although courts will still depend on the best interests of the child principle, the “changed circumstances” level of evidence often regulates attempts to alter visitation. 

Overall, if you and the other parent do not agree on visits, an advocate from Heath Baker Law can ensure that your perspective is taken into account by the court and does what is best for your child.