For many parents, the most upsetting thing in the world is not being able to see your children every day. The thought of your children spending the majority of their time with the other parent and not with you can be a painful emotion where you may feel as though you have lost control and don’t know where to turn. But setting up a proper visitation schedule and gaining rights to see your children on a regular basis can help ease the pain. Expert family law attorneys are here to help guide you through the process and are happy to provide 100% free consultations to show you what they can do to help your situation.
I’m Not the Custodial/Residential Parent, What Does That Mean?
If you are not the custodial parent, it means that your children live for the majority of time with the other parent, called the custodial or residential parent. First, any parent that is not the custodial or residential parent should understand that it is not the end of the world. Child visitation rights are something that courts and judges want to grant to the non-custodial parent because they realize that it is important for each parent to have a significant presence in a child’s life. Contacting an experienced attorney is your best chance at securing your family’s rights.
There are many aspects that can affect how much time each parent spends with their child, but only an experienced family law attorney specializing in child visitation rights and child custody rights can let you know how your personal situation fits within the law. One of the most damaging pieces of evidence to a non-custodial parent is waiting too long to start. Judges that deal with parents that waited too long to start fighting for visitation rights ask the question, “how important is it to you if you waited this long to start fighting for your rights as a parent? Don’t get caught in that trap, get help now! And if you did wait a long time, because you may have hoped to work something out with the other parent and it hit the skids, don’t panic, it can be reversed and it can be fixed, but you cannot wait any longer to act. That’s why we make it easy for you to contact an attorney for free to find out how they can help you!
Some things a court generally will take into account are:
- How long the non-custodial parent waited before fighting for their visitation rights
- Living conditions of the non-custodial parent’s home
- Whether the non-custodial parent has spent time with the child in the past
- Has the non-custodial parent had overnight time alone with the child
- Whether there has been any history of abuse by the non-custodial parent
- Geographical location of the non-custodial parent (out of state, 100 miles away, etc)
Some things a court will generally not take into account are:
- Whether the non-custodial parent has paid child support
- Whether the non-custodial parent is employed
- Whether the non-custodial parent is remarried
Contacting a lawyer for an evaluation is your best bet to finding out some of the answers you need in order to get started on securing your rights to visitation and parenting time with your child.
How Does Joint Custody vs. Sole Custody Determine My Visitation Rights?
For the most part, courts have relaxed the meaning of joint custody vs. sole custody over the recent years. The main difference is that with sole custody, the parent that is the residential parent makes the majority of the everyday decisions without needing to consult the non-custodial parent for permission. This includes after school activities like sports or band, and also includes such minor routine things as what dentist the child may see as well. Whether a joint or sole custody agreement has been made, both parents must be present for the big decisions in the child’s life, a and a good attorney will lay out the differences in a Parenting Agreement and Custody Order that the court will enter.
Whether you are the non-custodial parent in a joint custody or sole custody situation you still have rights to visitation to your child. Do not ever believe that simply because one parent has sole custody that you are not able to have parenting time with them; this is untrue. Courts want to grant visitation rights to non-custodial parents in an amount as close to 50% as possible, if possible, based on geographic location, school district and other factors, so long as it does not disrupt the child’s schedule. Experienced family law attorneys will know whether you have been the victim of another parents withholding of your child and will fight for your visitation rights—in many states, visitation interference is now a crime!
How Do I Start Fighting for My Visitation Rights?
Simple—fill out the form on this page to get started with a no obligation consultation. Only an attorney specifically trained and experienced in family law can help guide you through the complex system that lies ahead. Having a proven advocate that has fought for, and won, numerous cases similar to yours is necessary to secure your visitation rights with your child. Waiting can often be the worst thing to do because judges do not like to see that you sat on your hands while not being able to see your child. Get started today with a free consultation—your family is depending on you to fight for them!