When a court awards physical custody of a child to one parent during divorce, it usually awards visitation rights to the other parent. A father’s visitation in divorce is a highly-discussed topic because many fathers are not awarded physical custody of their children. After receiving visitation rights, some fathers wonder whether and how often their children can spend the night.
If visitation rights cannot be determined through parental agreement, they are dictated by a court order. When making custody and visitation decisions, a court considers what is in the best interests of the child. If the child is old enough, the court may ask what he or she desires. Visitation is important for both the child and the parent being visited.
A father’s visitation rights may be based on the age of the child. A written parenting plan can be created that includes details about the visitation, outlining which weekends the father will have the children, whether overnight visits are included, and the drop off and pick up locations and times. In some situations, a special schedule may be created for holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.
Parents can negotiate child visitation rights themselves, through a mediator, or through attorneys. If this is not feasible, the court will develop the visitation schedule and parenting plan. The child will only reside with the non-custodial father when he has visitation. If parents live in the same area, courts usually encourage frequent visitation on a regular basis. This may include overnight visits on one or more weekdays or weekends during a month.
If the well-being and safety of the child is called into question when visiting the father, supervised visitation may become necessary. In this situation, overnight visits are usually not possible. Another adult must supervise visits between the father and the child. If contact with the father is determined to be emotionally or physically harmful for the child, the father may lose his rights to visitation.
Fathers who are responsible parents but are not awarded primary custody of their children should fight for visitation. A father’s rights to visitation in divorce can have a positive influence on the life of his child. Family law attorneys help enforce father’s rights in divorce, ensuring that male parents receive the level of visitation to which they are entitled. The best visitation schedules are feasible for both parents and flexible enough to accommodate unforeseen schedule changes and the changing age of the child.
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