Divorce is undoubtedly a stressful stage for a couple and their child as well. A lot of things become uncertain about the child’s life. During this process, the primary concern of parents is to ensure the proper care and support of their children.
Parents have to decide who will be the primary caregiver and how the custody and visitation will be shared. This becomes difficult for parents because of the arguments. Unfortunately, the child becomes the victim of this conflict.
In fact, the custody arrangement is a part of the divorce settlement. The court decides in the child’s best interest. Mostly the mother gets the sole physical custody of the child. Instead, the father gets visitation rights as a non-custodial parent.
The court gives it as a privilege to the father rather than automatically granted rights. Here in this article, we’ll talk about child visitation rights for fathers and relevant topics.
Custodial vs Non-Custodial Parents
The custodial parent is the primary caregiver of the child who got sole physical custody. The child stays with the custodial parent, and he/she take the decisions for the child’s betterment.
On the other hand, the non-custodial parent is someone with whom the child does not reside. He/she got the visitation right ordered by the court. The court wants the child to spend time with the non-custodial parent.
What Is Child Visitation Right?
Child visitation is a right given to the non-custodial parent to stay in touch with the child. The local state court handles this as a part of the divorce process. The child visitation right lets the child meet the non-custodial parent for a scheduled period.
The court encourages frequent visitation if the non-custodial parent lives in the same locality. It helps both parents serve the best interest of their children. According to many state laws, the parents have to draft a parenting agreement to work on the visitation plan.
Here, both the parent have to decide the visitation schedule with mutual agreement. It allows parents to work on a reasonable visitation plan for the child’s best interest. Parents can take help from a mediator to facilitate the negotiation.
If the parents failed to reach a mutual agreement, the court might interrupt. The court will develop a visitation schedule and rules that both child and parents are bound to follow.
What Are The Different Visitation Orders?
While deciding the custody, the court expects to encourage the parents to work together to fix a visitation schedule. It’s a plan that tells how the child will share time with both parents.
There are different types of visitation orders. It states how the non-custodial parent will get visitation rights. Each type of visitation order differs depending on the parent’s situation and the child’s best interest.
When a child’s safety and well-being are the primary concern, the court order supervised visitation. It allows a third person to supervise the children and non-custodial parents during their meetings.
This order took place while the child and parents are not so familiar with each other. Shocking, but true. Sometimes a non-custodial parent and child met after so many years. They need time to know each other.
Visitation Maintaining a Schedule
This type of order helps both parents and children to have a complete visitation plan. So, there shouldn’t be any conflict on visitation. The parent and child can meet on the date and time described in the schedule. Visitation schedule includes any special occasions, holidays, vacations, etc.
This is actually an open-ended order that gives the parents flexibility to work together. It allows the non-custodial parent and child on their convenient schedule. Reasonable visitation works if both parents can communicate well.
However, if there are any disagreements, reasonable visitation will never bring a good result. It can instead cause a serious issue between the child and parents.
The final option given by the court is no permission to visit the child. This is applicable only when the visit can harm the child either emotionally or physically. These are too rare cases, but the court does it for the child’s best interest.
Benefits of Visitation Rights for Child and Non-custodial Parent
That being said, the frequent visitation between a parent and their children has a positive impact on children. The meaningful visit helps children to be more social and discipline.
Here are a few benefits of meaningful visitations;
- Visitation firstly helps to maintain and improve the relationship between the non-custodial parent and their child.
- The children get the chance to see the parent more realistically. The parent can show he/she loves the child despite physical separation.
- The parents get the opportunity to improve their parenting skills.
- Meaningful visits provide the social worker the chance to see the bond between parent-child. So, the social worker or agency can make a further decision on behalf of parent and child.
- Visit also provides the possibility of reunification and supportive information regarding parent’s progress.
- Depending on the parent’s progress due to visits, the social worker can ask the court to reconsider the visitation plans.
What Are the Child Visitation Rights for Father?
Earlier, we mentioned, non-custodial parent gets the visitation right awarded by the court. It is the child’s biological father, who mostly get these rights. In the past, the court used to give full custody to the child’s mother.
They don’t even look at whether the mother is capable or not. These days, it no longer happens as the visitation right is the same for both parents. Here are a few rights that are applicable as child visitation rights for father.
- Visit your child at the chosen time that is suggested in the divorce agreement.
- Freedom from the mother’s control during the visitation time.
- The right to fix a schedule to do any activities.
- The right to spend the allotted time with the child without violation.
- Right to ban another parent from moving to another state with the child.
Above, we mentioned different child visitation orders that include various forms of schedules. It’s not only the non-custodial parent who’ll follow the visitation schedule. The schedule is applicable to the custodial parent as well.
Here is a basic visitation schedule that most state court follows;
- Chile can spend an alternative weekend with the non-custodial parent. It may include any three-day holidays.
- The opportunity to spend some time with the child during school breaks, spring, winter, and summer.
- Visitation on mid-week with the non-custodial parent.
- Father’s day should be spent with the father and, likewise, the mother’s day with the mother.
- Children can spend any special holidays with a custodial parent one year and with the non-custodial parent the following year. Holidays include Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Easter, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, etc.
- Regular contact through telephone and email with the non-custodial parent.
- The parent can spend children’s birthday alternatively.
- The non-custodial parent can take sole physical custody temporarily in emergencies.
- Parents can exchange a few days of visitation with a mutual understanding.
Things Affect Visitation Rights
Visitation rights don’t last forever; it can be denied, suspended, or restricted. Whenever the court finds anything harmful to the child’s best interest, they can take action.
There are a lot of thing coming from a non-custodial parent can affect a child’s visitation right. Take a look.
- Violation or physical harm of the child is the main factor that affects visitation rights. This happened when the non-custodial parent abused physically or mentally. If the custodial parent claims it, the visitation rights can be denied.
- If the non-custodial parent is mentally disturbed, it can be a threat to the child. The court has the right to suspend or restrict visitation rights.
- The non-custodial parent’s incarceration is not enough to deny the visitation right. If the visit in such a state is harmful to the child, only then can the court dismiss the visitation right.
- If the non-custodial parent threat to kidnap their child, the court will take action. They will ask for supervised visitation at first. If anything found with definite proof, they can restrict the visitation right.
- The custodial parent can deny the visitation right if the non-custodial abuses alcohol or drugs. They can restrict it on behalf of the child’s welfare.
How to Establish Visitation Rights?
Firstly, both parties have to be involved in a family law case (like the divorce process). Then the non-custodial parent has to prepare a motion for visitation and file the motion with the existing case.
If the case is appropriate, according to both parents, the case will be simpler. The court will only ask for a signature from both sides. Note that the non-custodial parent must pay for child support during the request for visitation rights.
On the other hand, if there is no case exists, the non-custodial parent has to initiate one. It will be considered as a part of divorce or separation, even if the parents are married. The non-custodial parent bringing this case must establish paternity first.
In brief, the motive of child visitation right for father is to ensure the child’s better future. The court will only work with the child’s best interest. Remember, child visitation rights are issued based on parent’s behavior and dedication toward the children. And, that’s what matters to get child visitation rights for father.