what are visitation rights?
Visitation is an arrangement where the non-custodial parent (or other family member) gets to spend time with the child, even when they do not have custody.
Visitation commonly includes overnight visitation every other weekend (and often one evening during the week), two weeks during the summer, and every other holiday. Visitation can also include telephone communication, or communication via the internet. Many courts award non-custodial parents more visitation, believing that children do best if both parents are very involved in the children's life.
All custody orders should describe in detail the visitation schedule for the parent who will not have custody, as well as how transportation of the child for visitation will be arranged. Establishing a detailed visitation schedule can help avoid disputes over what reasonable visitation really means. An attorney can help you write your argument for the custodial order.
Grandparents, great-grandparents or siblings can also request visitation if at least one of the following conditions is present:
If the other parent is deceased or missing
If the other parent is incompetent as a matter of law
If the other parent has been incarcerated
If the parents live separate and apart and at least one parent agrees to the visitation
Check with your local Court Clerk for any specific visitation guidelines.
2016 Changes to Visitation
While visitation still exists in the law, its identity has changed dramatically. The 2016 changes create a percentage-based parenting time share. The overall policy goals are to make sure that neither party feels as though they have lost access to their child, but instead that the best interests of the child are upheld in all cases.