Custodial Parent Legal and Parental Responsibilities

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Deciding on custody of a child in a divorce case is hard and one of the biggest issues is determining visitation rights of the non-custodial parent. Both parents need to be well-versed in the child custody laws in your state. Seeking the assistance of a family attorney with experience in divorce and child custody is important to ensure that the child’s best interests are always put first.

Reasonable Visitation

The judge may decide that you and your ex-spouse need to work together to come up with a visitation plan that works for you both and your child/children. This works if the divorce is somewhat amicable and both parents can cooperate and come up with a ‘reasonable visitation’ plan. This is the best way to determine visitation times as the visitation can be arranged around both parent’s schedules.

It is important to note that the parent given custodial rights will have the final say in terms of how long and specific times of visitation. The custodial parent does not legally have to comply with the proposed schedule of visitation, however, if they are disagreeing just out of spite towards their ex-spouse, the judge may take note of this if the parent comes to the court requesting something else at a later date.

Reasonable visitation is successful if the parents can work together for the benefit of their child/children. If you do not feel this is possible, inform the judge that it is better to set a visitation schedule that is fixed. If you and your ex-spouse originally decided on reasonable visitation but it is not working out, you can return to court and ask the judge to change the visitation rights. Some states allow you to use ‘virtual visitation’ as a part of your visitation plans, such as face time, or other video software.

Fixed Visitation

If reasonable visitation is not an option, the judge will mandate the time and/or place for the non-custodial parent to visit the child/children. Fixed visitation is also used as an option to retain some stability and consistency in the child’s life, at a time when there is so much confusion and upheaval.

Supervised Visitation

Inform the court if your ex-spouse was abusive in the past, particularly if it was towards your child/children. The court can order supervised visitation if the judge feels the child may be in any danger while in the company of said spouse. The individual assigned to supervise the visitation must be approved by the court.

Grandparent Visitation

Every state has its own laws allowing a particular type of visitation for grandparents. The court can assist grandparents who wish to retain some type of visitation with their grandchildren in their quest to maintain a relationship with these children. Consult with a family law attorney knowledgeable about child custody laws to clarify what the laws are in your state. The court will always lean toward the best interests of the child when determining any custody issues. Grandparents cannot be denied visitation rights simply out of spite of one of the spouses.

Source: Child Custody Lawyer Plano, TX, Scroggins Law Group