A father’s visitation rights during the divorce process is critical to ensuring a fair parenting time split post-divorce. During a divorce, a father has a lot to deal with – alimony, separating property and more than likely finding a new place to live become prominent during this period. Unfortunately, some fathers may be less concerned about the custody of their children or feel that the mother having primary custody is best for the kids – but this is primarily based on men believing that they have no chance to win custody or even spend significant time with their kids when the divorce process begins. Father’s rights are important to thousands of men across the country, and knowing what your rights are is essential to fighting for your children. If this is the case, both the father and mother work together to come to a mutually agreeable visitation schedule.
Father’s Visitation Rights Should Not Be Denied!
Every state has different laws and regulations when it comes to custody of minor children. Generally, a judge will make the final decision when it comes to the father’s visitation rights and then it is up to the parents to agree on the schedule and how much time the children will spend with each of them and when. Family law judges decide child custody cases based on a standard known as “the best interests of the child.” What this means is that a court will look into the backgrounds of both the mother and the father, the way the children have been raised thus far, who is able to provide for the children, and the closeness of each parent with the children, along with many other factors. The judge will then make a recommendation, and if the parents agree, a parenting schedule can be drafted and put in place. If the parents do not agree, the judge will then begin the process of getting the case ready for trial – which takes a very long time. To fully understand the state’s custody laws, it is best to consult with a local family law attorney right here.
The primary custodial parent usually has more influence on the visitation schedule. By law, the custodial parent is not obligated to approve any visitation schedule, which can make it difficult for the father to get the visitation rights he believes he deserves. Although courts will uphold these objections, judges look more kindly upon custodial parents who are willing to work with their counterparts. And if both parties cannot come to an agreement, a judge will be the ultimate decision maker – and it is in both parties best interests to work things out rather than have a judge, who doesn’t know either party from Adam, make the final decision.
No Agreement = A Judges Decision on Father’s Visitation Rights
In some situations, a father’s visitation rights may be decided wholly by the judge and may take the form of a set, non-negotiable schedule. This schedule could be defined by specific nights of the week, certain holidays, or large portions of the children’s summer vacations. This type of set schedule may be imposed if the parents make no progress on setting their own and cannot come to a mutual agreement. Going through the mediation process can prove to be a positive method of working out the differences in parenting time schedules. An independent mediator, many times court appointed, will discuss with both parents what they believe is “normal” as far as visitation is concerned. Mediators help divorcing couples find common ground, and this is important for a father who is looking to retain the parenting parenting time he believes is deserved.
If the father requesting visitations has a history of abuse, it should be stated to the family law attorney and to the court. If the judge believes that the father is likely to abuse the children based on his past behavior, they may order supervised visitations. This is when an adult, either appointed by the court or proposed by the parents, oversees the visitations between the father and children.
Once entered, visitation orders usually remain unchanged, unless there is a request by a parent because of a “substantial change of circumstances.” However, if the father does not follow the set visitation schedule and regulations, the primary custodial parent can petition the court to change the visitation order. It is important to the court that the father remains in the children’s lives, so much so that some states order fines and other consequences be placed against individuals who do not follow the visitation schedules. Getting the father’s rights help and advice you need is as simple as speaking with one of our family law professionals right here. Get started working towards the visitation rights you deserve as a father, there is nothing more important to your children.