There are any different types of visitation that can be arranged between divorced parents. Giving a child the opportunity to spend time with both parents is a top priority for a family court when making or approving a visitation schedule. If a parents can agree to a schedule, the family court will usually let them have the final say when it comes to setting child visitation.
There are many times when parents cannot come to an agreement. In that case, it will be up to the family court to determine what is right for a child's visitation schedule and custody arrangements. When designing a child visitation schedule, both the court and the parents should keep the child's best interests, the top priority.
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When parents decide to make their own schedule, it still must be submitted to a family court for approval. A judge will look over the proposed plan to make sure that the child visitation schedule offers reasonable visitation time to each parent. Reasonable visitation allows for both parents to take an active role in parenting their children. For years the non-custodial parent had very limited access to their children.
The majority of women still have sole custody of their children, but fathers are taking more active roles in their lives. Family courts have realized that a schedule that allows for both parents to see their child often is usually better for the child. If the parents cannot come up with a reasonable visitation schedule then the family court will step in to make one of their own. Though the court prefers that the parents make the schedule themselves, it is not required. Even if the parents completely agree on a reasonable visitation schedule, they still must petition the family court to make the agreement legally binding.
A fixed visitation schedule is designed by the courts when the parents cannot come to a child custody agreement. Unlike reasonable visitation which may allow for some flexibility, a fixed visitation schedule will generally dictate exact days and times for visitation. The judge will try to make a schedule that takes the needs of both parents in mind. Any visitation schedule that is designed will be done with the child's best interest in mind. The visitation schedule that is ordered will address holidays as well as school vacations. The family court will try to be fair while taking into account each parent's schedule.
While it is preferred that parents make their own schedule to show that they can be civil for the sake of their children, the court taking over the job may be beneficial to everyone involved. A set visitation schedule and routine will be likely to give the child a sense of sense of security. Parents who cannot get along will also benefit from this schedule since they will not have to interact a lot. The only thing that will be required of them are following the set child visitation schedule that the court has made and making sure their child is well cared for. A judge in family court is more likely to come up with a fair visitation schedule than the parents if there is animosity between them.
When the court decides that one parent is unfit for regular visitation with their child, they may still allow them to have supervised visitation. Supervised visitation is a prearranged schedule of visits that take place with a court liaison or social worker present. Usually, the visits last about a hour and the non-custodial parent is allowed to interact with their child under supervision. Many times, a parent is deemed unfit because of mental problems, drug or alcohol problems. A past history of physical abuse with their ex-spouse or the child may also cause the courts to order supervised visitation.
The custodial parent may petition the courts to order supervised visitation if they think that their ex-spouse is a danger to the child. When petitioning for supervised visitation, the custodial parent must file the necessary paperwork and have the non-custodial parent served with the court papers. The non-custodial parent has a right to fight the order and seek regular visitation. If the courts think that allowing the non-custodial parent to be alone with the child would be unsafe, they will be likely to order supervised visitation.