Understanding Your Visitation Rights
When granting sole physical custody to one parent, as long as the non-custodial is a “fit” parent and is not a threat to the safety or wellbeing of the child, then the court will appoint them scheduled visitation times. This allows the parent to see their child and spend time with them on a regular basis. Visitation may be also be granted to grandparents in some circumstances so they have the right to visit their grandchildren as well.
How will my visitation schedule be decided?
If the participating parties can all agree on a suitable visitation agreement, then the courts will not need to intervene. If the two parents cannot agree, the court will order a mandated visitation schedule that both parents must abide by. If the parents can be amicable and communicate effectively then the agreement will not be extremely detailed and the parents can have jurisdiction and propose times and other small issues themselves.
As with child custody agreements and all other family-related matters, the courts will rule in favor of the child’s best interests. The court will propose a visitation schedule that protects the child’s well-being. In cases where the child is old enough to cognitively make rational decisions, the courts will take into account their preferences.
When will the court modify a visitation order?
One common issue that arises with cases of this nature is that one parent fails to abide by the agreement and refuses visitation to the other parent or does not return the child at the determined time. When these matters arise the parents may have to go back to court to resolve their differences or seek legal counsel to help enforce the visitation agreement in place.
Some valid circumstances for visitation modification would be:
Failure to follow the visitation schedule
Failure to return the child at the designated time
Immoral influence or illegal teachings being exposed to the child
A parent being convicted of crime
If you are looking to establish or modify a visitation agreement, speak with a Denver family attorney at our firm as soon as possible. Visitation schedules can be modified as well if there are significant changes in circumstances. These circumstances must be new evidences to the court, not factors that have been dredged up in past proceedings.
Types of Visitation Agreements
There are several types of visitation, including:
- Unsupervised Visitation — This is the most common type of visitation agreement and it is only awarded if the non-custodial parent has no history of violence, abuse, neglect, alcohol or drug dependency or a criminal record. Unsupervised visitation means that the parent can take their child to their home residence, or out to enjoy any type of appropriate activity during their allotted visitation time. In some cases, the court will place restrictions. For example, if the child is an infant, the father may be asked to visit the baby at the mother’s home until the child is accustomed to drinking from a bottle and is not fully dependent on breast-feeding.
- Supervised Visitation — When the courts supervised visitation, it is usually because the non-custodial parent is not completely trustworthy or poses a small threat of danger to the child either emotionally or physically. In cases of this nature, the courts will have another individual present during the allotted times of visitation to act as a supervisor and oversee things. In some cases a grandparent or close friend can act as the supervisor or, in more severe cases, the court will appoint the visitation to occur at a specified neutral location and have a social worker supervise the visit.
- Virtual Visitation — This is another alternative type of visitation that the court will award if the parent is unable to physically meet with the child. With these specific cases, the parent and child may visit by means of the internet including Skype, email, instant messenger or video chat of some sort. This scenario is never ideal, but it works for long distance custody arrangements and things of that nature.
Jones Law Firm, PC: Fighting to Keep Your Family Close
As a parent, we understand that it is your innate desire to spend quality time with your child and to be intimately involved with their life. No parent wants to miss their child growing up. This is why matters of custody and visitation are so crucial. If you are looking to establish or modify a visitation agreement, we are here to help!
For qualified legal counsel that you can trust in your visitation case, contact a Denver family lawyer at Jones Law Firm, PC today.
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