Visitation rights are a common topic in family law. A court may award these rights to the non-custodial parent during a divorce. The purpose of issuing this order is to allow the child to maintain a relationship with the parent. The child visitation schedule will list the specific terms of the agreement. Yet, there are certain aspects of these orders you need to understand to be fully informed.
How Courts Decide on Visitation Rights
The court's main focus during this determination is what is best for the child. This is often referred to as the child's best interests. There are several factors that come into play when discussing the best interests. Generally, a court will take into account the child's age and both physical and mental state. The judge will also look at the location of each parent, their background and daily schedules. Finally, the court may ask the child about his or her preference. All these factors help the court make a rational decision on visitation rights.
A Look at Visitation Agreements
A child visitation agreement is just as it sounds. It is an accord between two parties that creates a mutually beneficial schedule. The average agreement describes when and where visitation will occur. It may also include information about the parental responsibilities when the child is present. Furthermore, the agreement may state geographic restrictions, limitations on activities and modification requirements.
In most cases, the parties involved in a divorce or separation can set the terms of the agreement. However, if conflict is present, the court may need to step in and dictate the terms. It is wise to use the help of a child custody lawyer to protect your interests.
The Types of Agreements for Child Visitation
Generally speaking, there are two possible types of child visitation agreements: supervised and unsupervised visitation. In a supervised visitation situation, the parent is only allowed to spend time with the child around another party. These visits will usually take place in a designated facility where authorized staff is present. In some situations, these visits may occur at home or another location with a social worker or therapist present. Finally, it may be possible to appoint a relative or friend to supervise the visit if the situation warrants such.
There are a few different reasons why a court may order supervised visitation. In most cases, it is due to a problem in the parent's past. Issues with substance abuse, domestic violence or past neglect are the usual triggers. Nonetheless, it is possible to convert supervised visitation into the unsupervised type if certain conditions are met. Speak to a family law attorney for more information.
Most parents wish to get unsupervised visitation. As the title suggests, this allows the parents to spend time with the child outside the presence of a third party. By working with an experienced lawyer, you'll have a better chance at securing an unsupervised order.
Summarizing the Issues
Overall, child visitation agreements can involve a complicated process. In addition to the above, many other issues can arise. It may become necessary to modify or enforce the agreement at some point. Furthermore, violations of a visitation order can present big problems for the non-custodial parent. In this sense, it is always a good idea to work with a family law attorney whenever you are dealing with this type of legal issue.
For assistance in Utah, contact TR Spencer and Associates.