The Different Kinds of Visitation Orders
Custody and visitation orders are made by courts based on what the court believes is in the “best interest of the child.” That is the primary consideration that the court has to make based on the evidence presented. Custody has to do with both decision-making authority of the parents as well as the physical custody designation. In some instances, judges may give parents joint legal custody, but not joint physical custody. This means that both parents share the responsibility of making important decisions in the child’s life, but the child lives with one parent significantly more than the other parent, who has “visitation time” with the child.
- Types of Visitation Orders
Standard Visitation is when a parent who has the child less than 50% the time has specific dates and times they are allowed to spend time with the child. Having detailed visitation plans normally helps all parties involved by preventing conflicts and/or confusion.
Supervised Visitation is put in place when there are concerns for the child’s safety and well-being while they are with a particular parent. It requires that when that parent is visiting with the child, that parent must be supervised by the other parent, another agreed upon adult, or a professional agency. This type of visitation may also be put in place when the child and a parent have not spent much time together and are becoming more familiar with each other.
No Visitation is ordered if the visiting parent would be emotionally and/or physically harmful to the child, even under another adult’s supervision. Hence, in these cases it is in the best interest of the child to have no contact with that parent whatsoever.
- How Custody and Visitation are Decided
Custody and visitation decisions are always based on the best interests of the child involved. The court makes these decisions based on factors such as, but not limited to, the age and health of the child, any history of substance abuse or family violence, the parents ability to care for the child, emotional bonds between the parents and child, and the child’s ties to their home, school and community.
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