Everything You Need to Know About Visitation Rights


Visitation rights are a part of divorce, legal separation, and other family law proceedings that cover parenting plans. A visitation schedule is an agreement between two parties that outlines when each parent may visit with the children. This visitation arrangement can be formal or informal and must be legally enforced in some cases to be valid. Visitation rights should not be used as a tool to punish the other parent, but rather to ensure that the child has access to both parents.

Visitation Rights

In some cases, visitation rights are granted by the court and can include any of the following: overnight visits, weekday visits, weekend visits, summer vacation time with one or both parents, holidays (such as Thanksgiving), birthdays, and special occasions (such as Mother’s Day or Father’s Day). The visitation schedule should be tailored to fit the needs and desires of each parent.

Visitation rights can also be affected by changes in the lives of either parent or guardian. If a custodial parent moves to another state, for example, the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent may need to be modified accordingly.

Formal Agreement

In order to ensure that the visitation rights are enforced, both parties may need to sign a formal agreement stating their consent to the terms of visitation. This agreement should be in writing and must be signed by both parties. The agreement should clearly outline the visitation rights, including who will have custody of the child during each visit and any other pertinent details.

Enforcement of Visitation Rights

In some cases, courts may require that a third party be appointed to supervise visitation rights or oversee exchanges of children between the two parents. This third party may be a family member, an independent professional, or a court-appointed representative. It is important to understand that all visitation arrangements must be legally enforced in order for them to be valid and recognized by the court.

In addition, any changes to the visitation rights must also be approved by both parties and legally enforced. If either party fails to abide by the terms of the visitation arrangement, the other parent may need to take legal action in order for their rights to be enforced.

Custodial Rights

Remember that visitation rights are not the same as custodial rights. With visitation, a parent or guardian has only limited access and control over the child and must abide by any terms set out in court orders or agreements. The primary custodian of the child will still have final say on decisions regarding major life issues such as schooling, religion, and medical care.

Laws and Regulations

It is important for both parents and guardians to be aware of the laws and regulations regarding visitation rights. In some cases, a court may order supervised visitation, which requires an approved third-party to oversee visits between the parent or guardian and the child. It is also possible for a parent or guardian to have their visitation rights suspended if they pose a risk to the physical health or emotional wellbeing of the child.

Understand Your Rights

Overall, visitation rights are an important part of any child custody arrangement and can help ensure that all parties involved in a parenting relationship have appropriate access to the child. It is important for parents and guardians to understand their individual rights, as well as any rules or regulations governing them, so they can ensure that they abide by them. Doing so can help create a healthy, safe and positive environment for the child.