During divorce proceedings, one of the most hotly debated issues is the child custody arrangement. Couples with children need to have a plan in place for child support payments and child custody, including information about child visitation. This sensitive issue requires all involved parties to exhibit a great deal of care and consideration.
A visitation rights lawyer can help guide a separated couple through the process of child visitation. Their entire job is to understand the ins and outs of the court system. They have previous experience negotiating child custody arrangements and visitation arrangements. They’ll be able to advocate for your position, compile evidence, help you understand your options, and file all the necessary paperwork.
When any issue regarding child custody is brought before a court in New York, a judge makes the final ruling on the arrangements. Even if you and your spouse negotiate an arrangement beforehand, you still need a judge to approve the final details. This is because the judge is tasked with ruling in the child’s best interests.
Best Interests of a Child
The judge in a child custody proceeding is neutral arbitrator who makes fair judgments. During the hearing, you’ll have the opportunity to present your case, while your spouse will present theirs. The judge needs to make the ruling that they believe is best for the child. A number of factors will influence the judge’s decision:
- The child’s age and gender
- The child’s emotional health
- The mental and physical status of each parent
- Each parent’s financial standing
- Each parent’s lifestyle and its effect on the child
- Each household’s overall stability
- Emotional bonds between the child and each parent
- Quality of schools in each parent’s district
- The concern each parent has for ensuring a healthy relationship with their child
Custodial and Residential Parental Rights
Physical custody of the child is granted to the residential parent. “Residential parent” refers to the parent with whom the child spends the most time. Meanwhile, the non-custodial parent is given certain visitation rights.
There are situations in which the parents don’t agree on a visitation schedule. When this is the case, a schedule will typically be mandated by the court. Where child visitation is concerned, the judge doesn’t care about the conflict between you and your spouse, except for how it affects the child. Their decision is solely based in what arrangement is best for the child.
If both parents want to spend time with their child, and there’s no reason to believe the child is in danger with either parent, the judge will create a schedule that allows the ideal amount of time with each parent. If you believe you should be the primary custodial parent, but the right has been denied to you, it’s important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Lawyers can also help you amend any prior custody arrangements and child agreements.
Every divorce agreement must deal with issues regarding child visitation and custody. It’s important that you make it clear that child custody is an important issue to you. Failure to address it in a timely manner can make the judge think you don’t care.
Even if you started fighting for custody too late, you can still make a case. You can show that you spent that time trying to better your parenting skills. An attorney can give you a free case evaluation to see whether you have a case.
Child Visitation Denial
If the custodial parent refuses to let the non-custodial parent visit the child, the non-custodial parent has a legal right to take the matter to court. Some common reasons for the custodial parent to deny visitation include:
- The wishes of the child
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Disapproving of the ex’s new relationship
- Differences in religion
- Late child support payments
- Fear the child will be abducted
- Fear the child will be abused
If there’s already a custody order that permits visitation, the custodial parent cannot legally deny the non-custodial parent a visitation. There could be repercussions that affect your current custody arrangements, since violating a judge’s order can result in contempt of court charges.
When a custodial parent is afraid for their child’s safety with the other parent, they need to talk to their lawyer right away. Their lawyer can establish the evidence necessary to have a judge reconsider the custody arrangements