The desire for most parents whose divorce has been finalized is to have their children shielded from the stress that comes with protracted child custody battles. However, not all child custody cases are resolved amicably. In some occasions, these cases become very contentious with parents battling it out to assert that they each deserve to keep the kids. Regardless of the feelings that the parents may have for each other, the court, when deciding custody cases will prioritize the interest of the children over the feelings of the parents.
In a custody arrangement, one parent is often awarded physical custody while the other is awarded visitation rights. The main goal of such orders is to allow each parent to play a part in the children’s lives without such arrangements becoming too disruptive for the minors they seek to protect. If you perceive that your ex is hostile and might try to bar you from enjoying equal parenting rights, you will need to hire an experienced visitation lawyer to iron out the fine details of your visitation arrangement and explain to you what your legal options and obligations are as well as what you will be expected to do in regards to child support and other legal aspects of the child custody case.
Visitation arrangements in New York
There are many different types of visitation arrangements that can either be arranged privately between parents or through the family court.
i. Private agreement- In this case, the court will not play the role of arbiter. The two parents will agree on all aspects of visitation and then have the agreement documented in a visitation and custody agreement.
ii. Court Intervention- If the two parents cannot agree without the involvement of the court, the court will decide on which parent will be awarded physical custody and who will be awarded visitation rights. If the court is convinced that the noncustodial parent is irresponsible and might harm or neglect the child, it might decide not to award visitation rights. If the court satisfies itself that the noncustodial parent is a responsible parent, it will give a visitation order detailing the days and times that the noncustodial parent can visit the child.
What of Non-parent visitation
In New York, siblings, grandparents, step-siblings can petition the court to be allowed visitation. The court will allow such petitions if it is determined that the non-parent relatives had a substantial relationship with the child before the divorce and that such a relationship should be continued for the well-being of the child. However, if the custodial parent raises an opposition to the petition, the petition will not be granted on grounds that the custodial parent knows what is best for the child.
Different Types of Visitation
The court may determine which type of visitation to award depending on the merits of the case before it. The various types of visitation orders include:
• Unsupervised visitation- The non-custodial parent can do whatever he or she wants to do with the child, including taking the child on a trip or to his or her place.
• Supervised visitation- The court or custodial parent may appoint an adult to be present when the non-custodial parent is visiting the child. This is awarded if it is thought that a non-custodial parent can abuse or neglect the child.
• Therapeutic supervised visitation– This is awarded to improve the non-custodial parent’s parenting skills.
• Neutral place exchange- if the parents have a contentious relationship, the court may order that the child is turned over at a place that involves little interaction between the parents. How an attorney can help
How an attorney can help
If the child custody case you are involved in turns contentious, your visitation lawyer will ensure that your right as the non-custodial parent to spend time with your child is protected. To ensure that your rights are not trampled upon it is critical that you have experienced representation. Our skilled and experienced visitation lawyers are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.