Home Court Role in Visitation Schedules

Court Role in Visitation Schedules

Court Role in Visitation Schedule

Court Role in Visitation Schedule

When a couple decides to divorce, there may be facing a lot of litigation processes.

When there are children involved, the couple has more to worry about than the usual problems of dividing up assets.

If the parents do not have joint custody, then there is a non-custodial parent and a custodial parent. The non-custodial parent, or the parent that the child does not live with full time, generally has the visitation rights so that they can take an active role in their child’s life.

Whether or not they can agree on a visitation schedule, the family court will have to approve any visitation, custody, or child support arrangements for them to be legitimate. If there is no court order, then the arrangements are not legally binding.

A couple who is divorcing should have a legal agreement regarding visitation, even if they get along and agree on a visitation schedule. Having a legal court order may help in the future if problems arise.

The family court will also help the couple to arrange visitation schedules if they cannot come to an agreement. You can also consult with a child visitation lawyer to review your case.

Family Court Background:

Family courts handle issues ranging from divorce to child custody. Any issue that is related to a family matter will be handled by a family court.

When a judge in family court makes final decisions on child visitation schedules, they legally must act in the best interests of the child. The Family Law Act made this a rule.

Under the Family Law Act, the child’s best interests are considered to be their safety and the ability to spend quality time with each parent.

Other things may be considered as well. The court prefers that the parents of the child devise their own visitation schedule. This shows that the parents are able to put aside their differences for the sake of their children.

There are many times when this cannot happen. The family court will then step in to make decisions with the best interests of the child in mind.

Determining the Best Interests of the Child First:

The Family Law Act requires all family courts to make decisions for the best interests of the child, the top priority when determining visitation. There can be some confusion as to what their best interests are.

The two sets of guidelines that the court follows are the child’s safety and their right to have both parents in their life. However, there are other factors that the court will consider when deciding on a child’s visitation schedule if the parents cannot come to an agreement on one.

The court may consider the child’s preferences if the child is considered old enough and mature enough to speak on such a decision. Another factor that may be taken into account is the relationship that the child has with each parent.

If the child is much closer with one parent, then the court may decide that the child’s best interest is spending the majority of their time with that parent.

A parent’s living conditions are considered as well. An unsafe environment such as a parent living in a bad neighborhood can affect a visitation schedule.

Mediation Process:

Parents who are unable to reach a compromise on a visitation schedule may be ordered to work with a mediator. A mediator works for the court to counsel families with the hopes of reaching mutual agreements on visitation and custody issues.

A mediator is not a family counselor. In almost every circumstance, a mediator can report back to the family court judge on what was said during a meeting.

Working with a mediator is considered to be the last option before the court takes over and decides on the child’s custody and visitation schedule.

Sometimes, the option of having a mediator will be skipped and the court will move to make arrangements immediately after the parents cannot agree on a schedule.

Other times, the parents may be legally required to work with one. If a mediator cannot help the parents agree on a visitation schedule, the court has no choice but to take over and make a fixed visitation schedule for the family to abide by.

Court-ordered Visitation Schedule:

A court-ordered visitation schedule is one that the family court designs. Once it is legitimized, the child visitation schedule is a legally binding court order.

While a parent is technically not obligated to take advantage of the visitation they are offered, they can be held in contempt of court for not following the court-ordered visitation schedule.

If the custodial parent does not allow the non-custodial parent any visitation, they can be held in contempt for not following the court-ordered visitation schedule.

There are some common court-ordered visitation schedules that are put into effect.

One is every other weekend, with one additional night during the week added. The weekend is legally considered to start on Friday afternoon and end on Sunday evening.

Holidays are often split as fairly as possible between parents, with the child spending Father’s Day with their Dad and Mother’s Day with their Mom.

Other holidays like Christmas may be rotated yearly. School vacations and summer are often a time when a child will visit with their non-custodial parent for a set period of time, such as two weeks.

Legal Representation:

It may be necessary for an individual to hire a family lawyer when making custody or visitation arrangements.

Lawyers that specialize in visitation issues will be able to help an individual understand and navigate the complicated process of determining visitation issues.

A couple who cannot agree on a visitation schedule may choose to hire two separate visitation lawyers.

The lawyers can then work together to help the courts make a visitation schedule. If a couple can agree on an arrangement, then hiring a visitation lawyer may be unnecessary.

However, one may still want to consult a visitation lawyer, in case there are any questions or confusion surrounding the visitation procedures. Visitation and custody lawyers can be found through one’s local family court.

What Are Court Ordered Visitation Schedule

What Are Court Ordered Visitation Schedule

Parents each have visitation rights when it comes to parenting their children.

When a couple of divorces, unless they have joint custody of their children, there will be one custodial parent and one non-custodial parent.

The non-custodial parent will usually have visitation rights through a visitation order that allows them to see their children. There are many issues that may arise when a couple is following a visitation order.

When a couple cannot work past their differences, the court steps in to help determine what visitation rights are fair. Consult child visitation lawyer to review your case.

While the family courts prefer that parents devise their own visitation order, they recognize that the animosity that parents may have for each other can make that impossible.

If the child’s parents cannot decide on a mutually accepted visitation schedule, then a court-ordered visitation order is created by the family court.

While the court tries to satisfy the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, a court-ordered visitation order sets up a schedule that parents often disagree with. This often leads to later disputes about the court-ordered visitation order.

Parents that can work on agreeing and making their own visitation schedule, is usually preferable and benefits everyone involved. If a court-ordered visitation order is necessary, there are some common schedules that may be put into effect.

While the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights are not usually terminated, they may find that they do not get to see their child as much as they would, if the two parents could come to an agreement.

There are several typical schedules that a non-custodial parent might be given as their court-ordered visitation order.

One common schedule for a non-custodial parent is a weekly schedule of alternate weekends. Sometimes the court-ordered visitation order will also allow one night a week, depending on the distance between the two parents’ locations.

A holiday schedule is usually created as part of a court-ordered visitation order. Visitation rights do allow for a parent to see their children on holidays, depending on the circumstances. Usually, the holidays are split between the parents.

Holidays may also be switched on a yearly basis, with a child spending one Christmas with their custodial parent and the next year’s Christmas with the non-custodial parent.

Usually the child is allowed to be with their mother on Mother’s Day and their father on Father’s Day. Vacations are other times that a child may spend a few weeks at a time with the non-custodial parent.

Often, a visitation order allows for the non-custodial parent to have the child from two to four weeks, consecutively.

It is sometimes necessary for a court-ordered visitation order to be created if the parents cannot come to an agreement. Although it may not always be preferable, the courts do try to keep both the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent and the child’s best interests in mind.

Determining the Best Interest of the Child First

Determining the Best Interest of the Child First

The Family Law Act exists to serve the best interest of the child when determining custody and visitation.

However, it can be hard at times for a family court to determine exactly what visitation schedule might suit the child’s best interests.

To try to limit the confusion about visitations, the Family Law Act devised a list of basic ground rules involving visitation and custody that should be considered in every case. These guidelines are followed as carefully as possible.

Parents who get along with each other definitely help in working towards the best interest of a child, but unfortunately, there are many times when that does not happen.

The family court takes over when parents cannot agree on a child visitation schedule that is mutually acceptable. When the family court is making a visitation schedule, they have two primary considerations as well as many alternate considerations that are taken into mind.

The two primary considerations are allowing the children to spend a good amount of time with each parent during visitation and making sure that the children are safe. This is why a parent’s visitation rights can be terminated or limited to supervised visits if the court finds the parent to be unfit.

There are other factors that are given thought when the family court decides on visitations schedules. If the child is old enough, their thoughts on the visitations and what the schedule should be are considered.

A child’s relationship with each parent is taken into account when setting a visitation schedule. They also look at the child’s environment and living conditions with each parent.

A court will take into account which of the parents has maintained a closer relationship with the child. Visitation schedules that force a child to stay at a parent’s house that they are not too familiar with, may not be a desirable situation.

A family court also looks at the relationship that the parents have with each other. If there have been any emotionally or physically abusive instances, the court will be likely to take that into account when creating a visitation schedule.

If both parents are flexible and treat each other with respect, then the judge will be more willing to allow generous visitations to each parent. Any incidents that have occurred since the divorce or separation, may also be taken into account.

It is in the best interest of everyone to see the child happy and healthy. While a parent can fight a visitation order that they do not feel is fair, they should think about whether they are fighting visitations for the rights reasons.