There are several different ways in which child custody arrangements may divvy up parenting time. If parents share joint custody, the child may fluctuate between living with each parent equally—perhaps staying with mom from Monday until Thursday and Dad from Friday until Sunday. However, when one parent is granted primary custody, the other parent will be granted visitation, rather than custodial rights. Visitation allows noncustodial parents to spend time with their children on a regular basis, though it doesn’t grant parents the same type of involvement in major parenting decisions. However, visitation isn’t a catch-all term—there are several different types of visitation orders.
If you were recently awarded visitation rights, or if you plan to petition for visitation, make sure you know your legal options and discover how each type of visitation works.
Fixed or Reasonable Visitation
Although most parents opt for a fixed visitation plan, some choose to make their own plans through a reasonable visitation order. With a reasonable visitation order, the parents can determine, amongst themselves, how and when the noncustodial parent will be granted visits. If parents are able to collaborate effectively, this plan can be beneficial, but most parents opt for a more rigid fixed visitation schedule. A fixed visitation order will outline an appropriate schedule for the parents, outlining the specific days and times when visitation will occur. The fixed visitation order is typically the most common type of visitation.
In some cases, visitation cannot occur without supervision by the other parent, another trusted adult, or some type of trained professional. Supervised visitation often occurs at specific, court-appointed facilities, though it can occur in public places or at the parent’s home. Usually, a supervised visitation order is granted in cases where domestic violence was an issue, or if the parent has a history of mental illness, drug use, alcoholism, or any other form of threatening behavior.
Courts rarely bar parents from all contact with their children. The circumstances must be very extreme for a court to issue a “no visitation” order, which is why these cases are usually more rare. In most cases, parents are granted minimal supervised visitation, at the least, or they may receive virtual visitation, which means the parent and child could speak via webcam, or on the phone. However, parents may receive no visitation if they are deemed dangerous or harmful to the child, especially if there was a history of serious abuse.
If you are seeking visitation rights, or if you are trying to determine a fair visitation plan with your co-parent, our firm is here to help. We know how complex these matters can be, which is why we offer hands-on, personalized legal attention from the get-go. If you have a case, we want to hear from you.
Ready to get started? Contact Gille Kaye Law Group, PC to discuss your case with our firm today.