Divorce is a difficult and emotional process for everyone involved, especially when children are involved. One of the most important aspects of divorce involving children is determining visitation rights. Visitation rights refer to the time that a non-custodial parent spends with their child after a divorce. In this blog post, we will discuss key considerations you need to know about post-divorce visitation rights.
Understanding Visitation Rights
Visitation rights are typically outlined in a parenting plan or custody agreement that is created during the divorce proceedings. The parenting plan outlines how much time each parent will spend with the child and any other details related to visitation, such as holidays and vacations. It is important to note that visitation rights can be modified after the divorce decree is ordered if there is a significant change in circumstances.
Types of Visitation Rights
Scheduled visitation refers to a set schedule that outlines when the non-custodial parent will have parenting time with their child. This type of visitation provides structure and predictability for both parents and children.
Reasonable visitation allows for more flexibility than scheduled visitation. With reasonable visitation, the non-custodial parent and custodial parent work together to determine when parenting time will occur based on what works best for everyone involved.
Supervised visitation may be ordered by the court if there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the child during unsupervised visits with the non-custodial parent. During supervised visits, another adult must be present at all times.
Factors Considered When Determining Visitation Rights
When determining post-divorce visitation rights, several factors are considered by courts:
Child’s Best Interests
The primary consideration when determining post-divorce visitation rights is always what is in the best interests of the child. Courts will consider factors such as each parent’s ability to provide for their child’s physical and emotional needs, any history of abuse or neglect, and any special needs or circumstances of the child.
Courts also consider the relationship between each parent and their child when determining post-divorce visitation rights. If one parent has been significantly more involved in their child’s life than the other, it may impact how much parenting time they receive after a divorce.
The geographic location of each parent’s home may also impact post-divorce visitation rights. If one parent lives far away from their child’s school or activities, it may not be feasible for them to have equal parenting time.
Modifying Visitation Rights After Divorce
As mentioned earlier in this blog post, post-divorce visitation rights can be modified if there is a significant change in circumstances. Some common reasons why modification may be necessary include:
- One parent relocating
- A change in work schedule
- A change in health status
- A significant change in income
If you believe that your current post-divorce visitation arrangement no longer works for you or your child, even if you did an easy divorce at the time, it is important to speak with an experienced family law attorney who can help you navigate this process. Post-divorce visitation rights can be complex and emotionally charged issues for everyone involved. It is important to understand your legal options and work with an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through this process while keeping your child’s best interests at heart.
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