Meeting The Child’s Needs
When the parents of a child make a decision to separate, a decision of where the child will live needs to be made. The parents can agree, or the court can make the decision for them. If the child is of a certain age, they may be able to decide who they want to live with.
The parent the child lives with most of the time is the custodial parent. Because children benefit greatly from maintaining a relationship with both parents, New York courts will often order “reasonable visitation” for the noncustodial parent. Here’s what that means and how it might affect your child custody case.
Reasonable Visitation: What Is It?
The idea of reasonable visitation was created to ensure that the non-custodial parent had fair access to visit with their child and that the child was able to continue having a relationship with each of their parents after separation. Children who have relationships with each of their parents typically have fewer social, emotional, and developmental issues than children who do not.
That said, not all visitation is considered reasonable. Non-custodial parents who have a history of violence in the home or abuse of any kind will unlikely be awarded any visitation. Other parents may find that they are awarded only infrequent supervised visitation, depending on what is in the child’s best interests.
What Reasonable Visitation Looks Like
Ideally, you will reach an agreement with your ex about a visitation schedule that fits your child’s needs as well as the needs of your family. Consider your child’s educational schedule and extracurricular activities, as well as your work and social commitments when determining what reasonable visitation might look like for your family.
If You Don’t Agree with Your Ex, How Is Reasonable Visitation Decided?
If you and your ex-spouse or partner can’t come to an agreement about a mutually beneficial schedule for visitation, a court will need to make that decision for you. This means that your child custody case becomes litigated, or contested.
Family courts will often start with a “standard” visitation schedule that can be amended to fit a child’s individual needs and best interests. The non-custodial parent is typically awarded visitation every other weekend, with an additional two weeks per year and alternating holidays.
When to Call a New York Family Lawyer
If you’re involved in a child visitation case — whether you’re the primary custodian or the parent seeking visitation — a New York family law attorney can help. Make sure the best interests and rights of you and your child are protected during your case by calling Mary Katherine Brown for your consultation at (718) 878-6886.Posted in : Child Custody ,