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How visitation rights work?

HomeChild Custody Visitation RightsHow visitation rights work?

When a court gives exclusive child custody to one parent, the non-custodial parent maintains the visitation rights to see and visit the child.

If the court’s custody decree fails to mention visitation rights, the law implies the parent’s right to visitation.

Even if a strong presumption in favor of visitation rights exists, courts may impose restrictions on visitation by non-custodial parents.

If the custodial parent convinces the court that visitation rights would injure the child’s best interests, the court can deny visitation rights.

The best interest of the child analysis does not give absolute weight to the child’s stated desires because parents inheritably possess the right to attempt to repair the parent-child relationship.

Cases in which courts deny visitation rights often include non-custodial parents who had physically or emotionally abused the child in the past or non-custodial parents severely suffering from a mental illness that would emotionally devastate the child.

Non-custodial parents who imprison or who have prison records are no visitation rights.

If a parent refuses to obey the court’s visitation or custody decree, the court can order the parent in indirect contempt of court.

Types of visitation include:

  • Unsupervised Visitation:

The most common type of visitation is when the non-custodial parent with unsupervised visitation is generally allowed to take their children to their own homes or enjoy an outing child with their children during their scheduled visitation.

Sometimes, limitations place on unsupervised visitation; for example, a non-custodial parent may ask to visit his infant child at the mother’s home until the child accuses of taking a bottle.

  • Supervised visitation:

Supervised visitation means that another responsible adult must be present for the duration of the visit.

Courts may allow non-custodial parents to select an individual to serve as the supervisor–such as a grandparent, depending on the circumstances.

In other cases, the parent and child must meet at a specified location so that an appointed social worker or court-appointed designee can supervise the visit.

  • Virtual visitation:

Virtual visitation means communication occurs over the internet between the child and non-custodial parent and may include video chatting, instant messaging, and email.

Read more about your rights here.


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