When going through a divorce, you may be feeling sad about creating a visitation schedule. It can be a difficult decision to make with your spouse.
Ideally, the parents will agree on a visitation schedule. When this isn’t possible, a judge will decide the visitation schedule (and any rules, if needed). The process in which courts decide visitation is very similar to the process for determining custody. In fact, when the court issues a custody order, it also issues a visitation order.
How the Courts Decide on a Visitation Schedule
The court will have a hearing and gather evidence to make its visitation decision. The overarching principle guiding the court’s thought process will be doing whatever is in the best interests of the child. In making this determination, the court will take testimony from the parents, people who know the child (such as teachers), and professionals like social workers, psychologists, and healthcare workers.
In the past, a visitation schedule was usually limited: a non-custodial parent might see the child every other weekend and on alternating holidays. The courts now are trying harder to allow both parents to spend time with their child. Courts may allow the non-custodial parents to spend evenings or afternoons with the child, pick the child up from school, or go on summer vacation with the child.
Except in very unique circumstances, a court will usually grant at least some visitation rights to the noncustodial parent. Even in instances where the non-custodial parent poses some threat to the child’s emotional or physical well-being, the court will still usually grant visitation, albeit under close supervision.
If you would like fierce representation to guide you through the legal process of creating a visitation schedule. The law office of Cole, Sorrentino, Hurley, Hewner & Gambino, we are dedicated to our clients.