Quite often, for a variety of reasons, the courts will grant one parent sole custody if it’s in the best interest of the child. Even if sole custody is granted to one parent, the other parent is most likely given extensive visitation rights. Traditionally, family courts will urge both parents to be involved in a child’s life. It’s important for both parents to be active in the growth and development of the child. Both parents should be there to make major decisions concerning the child’s health, education, or religious upbringing. If you’ve been denied custody, you may have questions as to why your custody was denied and how visitation rights will work. Below is a brief guide to help you understand these circumstances.
Why Custody is Denied
When the courts state that sole custody to one parent is in the best interest of the child, it can be devastating for the non-custodial parent. Of course, this decision could indeed be due to the fact that a home is not suitable or a parent’s lifestyle isn’t appropriate for a child. But just because you weren’t granted sole custody, it doesn’t mean that you automatically fall into one of these categories. There are a plethora of reasons why it’s in the child’s best interest to have one permanent home. They may feel as though the child needs consistency. For instance, very young children may be better suited for one permanent home with one parent and visitation rights with another. The location might come into play when deciding custody. Regardless of why custody rights were denied, parents should take their visitation rights seriously and exercise them often.
How Do Visitation Rights Work?
If you’re denied custody, it’s best to start to focus on your visitation rights and formulate a visitation schedule. This will grant you time with your child on weekends, alternating weeks, holidays, or summer break. The courts will always encourage parents to work out visitation schedules and time-sharing together. Agreeing on these terms can make it easier for both parents and the children. However, if you’re in a situation where you and your ex cannot agree on the terms of your visitation rights, the courts will step in to decide for you. Unfortunately, this could turn out to be a schedule that you also don’t agree with, so it’s important to compromise when you can. Most parents will want to see their children as much as possible and urge for days or weekends even if it’s inconvenient. When negotiating your visitation rights, it’s always advised to be realistic and respectable. Don’t set any expectations too high for either your ex or your children. If you can’t commit to the visitation schedule, it can end up hurting you in the end.
Denying Visitation Rights
One question the non-custodial parent will usually ask upon learning of their visitation rights is if these rights can also be denied at one point. The answer to that question is, yes. There are a number of accounts of parents being given visitation rights, and then those rights being taken away. This can happen due to a number of different reasons. As mentioned above, you may risk losing your visitation rights if you can’t stick to the given visitation schedule. If you lose contact with the child or consistently cancel on days when you should be with your child, this can affect your visitation rights. Of course, more severe reasons for being denied visitation rights also exist. A history of domestic violence, drug addiction, or alcohol abuse are also reasons why the courts might deny you visitation rights.
Other Types of Visitation Rights
If your visitation rights have been revoked, there is a chance that they can be restored. Again, the courts want both parents to be in the child’s life, so they will often create a plan to help. Parents who have had visitation rights denied might need to attend parenting classes, alcohol treatment programs, or other mandatory self-help courses. There are also other types of visitation rights that might be incorporated into your schedule. For instance, you might be granted supervised visitations, which is when another person, possibly a social worker, attends visits with you and your child. There are also virtual visitations. This is when a child and a parent communicate through a live video feed such as FaceTime or Skype.
For More Information on Visitation Rights
If you’re facing a divorce and uncertain how to proceed with a custody hearing, contact a lawyer as soon as possible. It’s important to have someone with experience to defend you in these circumstances. A trusted Rhode Island and Massachusetts child custody lawyer can help you determine what is best for you and your child. They can also assist you in restoring visitation rights if they have been denied. Call Susan T. Perkins today to get more information on child custody.