Understanding Parental Visitation Rights

Child custody and visitation are among the most contentious issues in most divorce cases. When you pursue child custody in Cumming, the courts will consider several different factors when determining visitation schedules. Your family law attorney can negotiate the visitation agreement you want and protect your access to your children during a divorce. Here is what you need to know your legal rights in visitation and child custody cases.

What Is Visitation?

A visitation agreement sets the schedule for non-custodial parents to visit with their children. These agreements are necessary when one parent has primary physical custody of the children rather than a joint custody agreement shared between both parents. Visitation can also be granted to grandparents and ex-stepparents in some cases, though this is rare. The standard for awarding visitation is determining what is in the best interest of the child.

In some cases, the courts order supervised visitation. This occurs when there is a reason for the parent or other person with visitation rights can only see the children with another, approved person acting as a chaperone. Supervised visitation is ordered when there is reason to believe that the person visiting the children is not capable of ensuring their safety or poses a direct risk to them.

What Rights Does a Parent with Visitation Have?

A visitation agreement only gives parents the rights to have those visits with the children. This does not speaks the right to make legal, medical, or religious decisions for their children. That decisions making falls under legal custody. A party may have sole or joint legal custody. Sole means that parent makes the decision. Joint means that both parents must discuss the decisions. In joint circumstances, usually one of the parents has the tiebreaker, so that if the parents cannot agree a final decision can still be made. Parents with only visitation rights must return to court with a family law attorney to modify the child custody agreement if they wish to have legal decision-making rights.

What Happens if a Visitation Order Is Violated?

Many parents believe that they can stop child support payments if their visitation order is not honored. This is wrong and can lead to contempt charges against you. Call your family law attorney and return to court if your agreement is violated.

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