Custody and Visitations Rights
Children are an amazing blessing, which makes fighting for custody and visitation rights such a hard and important process. It can also be a scary process. Fortunately, you can battle that fear by learning more about the process and how legal help can lighten the burden.
Types of Custody
Exclusive custody, otherwise known as sole custody, refers to the arrangement where one parent has all custody rights and the right to make decisions regarding the child, including education and medical. The non-custodial parent might be awarded visitation rights- either supervised or unsupervised.
In some cases, both parents might be awarded custody rights. It is referred to as joint custody. This can refer to both living arrangements and decisions regarding the child.
For example, joint legal custody means that both parents have the right to make decisions regarding the child, regardless of where the child resides. Joint physical custody means that the child will move back and forth between each parent’s home. Third-party Custody
There are also times when custody gets granted to a third party, such as a grandparent or other relative.
Visitation is based on custody arrangements. It may also be impacted by any extenuating circumstances, such as previous abuse or the presence of mental illness in one parent. Under normal circumstances, the court system will work with the parents to create a viable visitation schedule.
If the parents can not come to an agreement, the court will create one on its own. The most basic schedules include those such as:
- Visiting every Saturday for several hours- For example, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Children spending every other weekend from Fridays to Sundays.
As life changes and children grow, you might find that your current visitation schedule is no longer appropriate. If you need to make changes to the visitation schedule, be sure to do so through the court system for legal protection.
Unless the custody paperwork expressly denies a parent’s right to visitation, the custodial parent has no right to keep the child or children from the non-custodial parent. Should this occur, the custodial parent can be found in contempt of court, which can potentially impact custody.
How a Family Lawyer Can Help
Custody and visitation are two overwhelming and difficult issues to deal with, and you should not have to face them alone. A family lawyer can be an invaluable resource in both cases. Family lawyers can help by:
- Negotiating custody arrangements
- Appealing unfavorable custody or visitation decisions
- Resolving issues when the custodial parent chooses to relocate to a different state
- Fighting for third-party custody or visitation for grandparents and other family members
- Fighting for visitation rights if you are denied custody and helping ensure your visitation rights are met
- Negotiating a favorable visitation schedule
Contact a Family Law Attorney
If you face a custody or visitation case, you should take steps to protect your rights. Arm yourself with a family lawyer to achieve the best possible results.