Visitation

Unless and until all parental rights are terminated, every parent has a right to reasonable visitation. Sometimes visitation may be supervised if a parent poses a serious mental or physical risk to the child. Sole custody to one parent does not terminate the parental rights of the other parent, who is generally still entitled to reasonable visitation, copies of report cards, and notification of parent/teacher conferences and serious health problems that may arise. That parent is also generally free to observe his or her child at extra-curricular activities which even fall on a day not regularly scheduled for visitation (e.g. a piano recital at school or a ball game).

There is no such thing as so-called "standard visitation", but visitation is often one weekday evening per week, alternate weekends and holidays, vacation during summer, winter and spring breaks from school, and other special occasions (e.g. Father's Day or Mother's Day).

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Visitation Continued

Time, place and responsibility for pick-up and drop-off of the children are often important details in drafting a visitation agreement. A well-drafted agreement means less future litigation, and generally only an experienced and hard-working attorney puts the time into such an agreement. A bad agreement could adversely affect the relationship you have with your children for a long time, and may even trickle down to the relationship you could have had with future grandchildren.

Visitation and child support are independent obligations. Thus, if support is not paid on time for a legitimate reason, visitation cannot be withheld, and vice-versa; that is, support must be paid even if visitation is withheld. If visitation is withheld wrongfully, sometimes the police will criminally charge the offender with unlawful visitation interference.

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