Information About Visitation and Custody Rights

Apart from money, child custody and visitation can be one of the most contentious aspects of family law. In any divorce where children are involved, the parents will have to make important decisions regarding where their children will live; they will have to decide who will be the custodial parent, and who will get visitation rights.

Although often times the mother is awarded custody of the children, the courts have shied away from automatically awarding custody to the mother. Usually the person, who was the primary caregiver before the divorce, is the one who will ultimately wind up with custody after the divorce.

Ideally, the spouses will come to an agreement regarding child custody and visitation on their own. The solution may be very clear to both parties, especially when one of the spouses had already been staying home with the children. but other times, there could be underlying issues which make coming to an agreement virtually impossible.

When parents disagree on child custody and visitation, the courts will have to decide for them. In every case, the family court will take into consideration what is in the best interests of the child or children. if both parents are reasonably fit to raise the children, and there is no concern about drug abuse, alcohol abuse, domestic violence or some other emotional or psychological disturbance, then the court will have to examine all relevant factors when deciding what would be best for the children.

Not all divorces are amicable and there will be times when a couple will have either subtle or very strong disagreements about child custody and visitation. one important thing to remember is that if adultery was an issue, or if there is another boyfriend or girlfriend in the picture, the court will not use those factors against a parent. they are not relevant in the eyes of the court and will not play a role in the custody and visitation decision.

What will be dutifully considered, and rightfully so are issues involving domestic violence. if a parent has a history of spousal abuse or child abuse, then it very well may limit their contact with their children, or require supervised visits.

Any type of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or any type of engagement in criminal activity or criminal behavior will also play a role in child custody and visitation. The courts want the children to be in as stable and safe environment as possible. if one parent is accusing the other parent of domestic violence, or substance abuse, it will need to be fully addressed in court, especially if the alleged parent is disputing the accusations.

Grandparents can be awarded visitation rights as well. this is especially common when the grandparents played a substantial role in the child’s life, or when they had been raising the child. Grandparents’ rights are not automatic, but there have definitely been times when grandparents petitioned the courts for visitation rights and had them granted by a family court judge.

Regardless of your circumstances as a parent, if you are getting a divorce, or if you are separating from your partner, although you were never married, it will be important to have a family law attorney represent your best interests. Child custody and visitation can be a very sensitive issue, and it is extremely important that you become well informed on the laws pertaining to child custody and visitation. Not knowing the laws is not an acceptable excuse when it comes to child custody and visitation; it’s your job as a parent to learn what your legal rights are so you can have the best possible chances of having frequent and consistent contact with your children. Please, contact a family lawyer sooner than later so you can make sure that your interests are protected throughout the entire process.

Information About Visitation and Custody Rights


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