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Child Visitation Basics


During divorce, the noncustodial parent will generally be granted liberal child visitation rights in a child visitation schedule approved by the divorce court.

The visitation schedule may be determined by either an agreement between the spouses or the court. Typically, courts decide child visitation rights without considering the relative fault of the parties.

Although child visitation is typically freely given, it can be limited by the divorce court if it's not in the best interest of the child.

Custodial Parent's Child Visitation Rights

If the noncustodial parent threatens harm to the children, is abusive or acts irresponsibly, the divorce court can limit child visitation rights, require a third party supervise visits or deny child visitation rights.

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The divorce court can also impose conditions on continuing child visitation rights, such as requiring a habitual drug user to undergo alcohol or drug addiction treatment. The courts typically have broad discretion when interpreting reasonable visitation.

Non-Custodial Parent's Child Visitation Rights

If the custodial parent engages in misconduct, such as delaying or interrupting the other spouse's visits or not paying child support or alimony payments according to schedule, the noncustodial parent can seek an order from the divorce court to make sure the custodial parent complies with the child visitation order and pays penalties, costs and attorney fees.

Family Members' Rights To See the Kids

Divorce courts may grant legal visitation rights to other family members. Almost every state now has some form of visitation rights for grandparents.

Grandparents, foster parents and stepparents may petition for legally enforceable child visitation rights.

Speak with a Divorce Attorney about Child Visitation

Speak to a local divorce lawyer about your specific visitation situation, rights and schedule. Work on protecting your relationship and time with your child with help from a divorce attorney near you.

Call 877-349-1310 today.

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The above synopsis of child visitation laws is by no means all-inclusive and is not intended to serve as legal advice. These laws may have changed since our last update and there may be additional laws that apply in your situation. For the latest information on these child custody laws, please contact a local divorce lawyer in your area.