Family courts make it a priority to give children of divorce the chance to spend time with both parents; approving or making a visitation schedule is one of the first items discussed during these type of proceedings. If the divorced parents can comply to a schedule, they will have the final decision when it comes to implementing it – as approved by the family court. However, there will be times when divorced couples disagree when it comes to visitation terms. As always, it is advisable to seek the help of experienced child visitation attorneys to protect your and your children’s rights. Their legal advice will guide you in determining your child’s custody arrangements and visitation schedule.

When planning a child visitation schedule, the family court and the parents should always have the children’s best interests, no matter what. Although differences over visitation and custody terms are not uncommon among parents going through a divorce, the wellbeing of the children should be of utmost importance. There are different types of visitation arrangements. Today’s post will give you an overview of what they are.

Reasonable Visitation

A non-custodial parent is the one requesting visitation rights from the other parent the child is living with full time. If you are the non-custodial parent that had went through all the essential court procedures to receive visitation rights and the judge grants you reasonable visitation, we’ll tackle what this type of visitation means.

When a divorced couple come up with a visitation schedule on their own, it must be presented to a family court for review and approval. A family court judge will examine the proposed schedule to ensure that both parents receive fair and reasonable visitation time. Reasonable visitation gives a chance for both parents to parent their children.

In usual cases, the mothers have sole custody of the children. However, we see an increase in fathers wanting to take a more active role in their children’s lives. Family courts have recognized the need for both parents to be present in their children’s lives, and that this is generally better for the children. If the divorced couple can’t agree to a visitation schedule, the family court and attorneys that represent both parties step in to come up with a decision. Although it is the preference of the courts for the parents to design a schedule on their own, it is not a requirement. If both parents agree on a visitation schedule and arrangement, they still have to submit the plan to the family court to make it legal.

Fixed Visitation

This type of visitation schedule is crafted by the family court when the divorced couple can’t wholly agree on a child custody arrangement. A reasonable visitation allows for some flexibility; a fixed visitation, on the other hand, will usually dictate specific days and times for each visitation schedule. The family court is responsible for making a schedule that carefully considers the needs of both parents. A fixed visitations schedule will take into account school vacations as well as holidays. Of course, the judge will be fair as he or she addresses each of the parent’s schedule and availability.

An ideal situation would be for the parents to design their own schedule. This act also lets the court know that the divorced couple can still be civil and respectful towards each other for their children’s sake. While that is the preferred situation, the family court taking over may also be advantageous to the parties involved. A fixed visitation routine and schedule would give the child a sense of consistency and security. Divorced parents who are not friendly towards each other will also find this arrangement beneficial as they don’t have to interact very much. They will only be required to follow the schedule set by the court and make sure that their child is well cared for and attended to. Also, a family court judge is always going to plan a fair visitation schedule, as opposed to parents with animosity issues between them.

Supervised Visitation

When the family court concludes that either one of the parents is unfit for visitation with the child, supervised visitation may still be granted. A parent is deemed unqualified due to alcohol, drug, or mental health problems. Also, the courts may order supervised visitation if there is a history of abuse with the ex-spouse or the child.

Supervised visitation is a pre-scheduled plan of visits that occur with a social worker or court liaison present. In general, these visits can last for about an hour each time, and the non-custodial parent can talk and interact with their child under observation and supervision. The custodial parent, with the guidance of their attorneys, may file a petition to order supervised visits if they think the ex-spouse poses a threat to the child. When filing for supervised visitation, necessary paperwork should be gathered. The non-custodial parent, in turn, can fight and oppose this order and attempt to seek regular, unsupervised visitation.