Working through a divorce can be tough. Among the many topics that you will need to discuss with your soon-to-be ex is who will get custody of the children. Child custody issues can create serious problems that will delay the finalization of your divorce.
It can be very beneficial to become familiar with the types of visitation orders recognized by modern courts as you work with your spouse to establish custody of your children.
A thorough understanding of each type of visitation order will allow you to work more efficiently alongside your child custody attorney to overcome any child custody issues you may face during your divorce.
1. Scheduled Visitation
Children often benefit from having structure and a schedule. Parents recognize this need for structure, even when the children will soon have two separate households.
Scheduled visitation is used by divorcing couples to outline the specific time periods during which each parent will be responsible for the physical care of the children. Most scheduled visitation orders include information on holiday schedules, school breaks, and other major events that may impact when a parent would want to see their children.
Although it can take a lot of time and effort to work out a visitation schedule that is fair for both parents, having a scheduled visitation order eliminates a lot of confusion and misunderstandings that might occur once your divorce is complete.
2. Reasonable Visitation
If your divorce is amicable, you may want to consider a reasonable visitation order when determining child custody. Reasonable visitation simply states that both parents will be given reasonable access to the children.
No specific dates or times are included in a reasonable visitation order. For parents that still get along and have no problems communicating with one another, opting to use a reasonable visitation order can streamline the divorce proceedings.
Just be aware that any disputes which arise regarding child custody in the future will not be resolved by a reasonable visitation order. You may need to return to court to establish a more structured visitation order should the relationship with your ex-spouse deteriorate in the future.
3. Supervised Visitation
There are a few different reasons why you might want to request a supervised visitation order as you work through your divorce.
Many people assume that supervised visitations are only required if a parent poses a serious risk to the child. The risk could be a parent abducting the child, or it could be the risk of the child sustaining emotional abuse.
While these are good reasons to request supervised visitation, there are more benign reasons why supervised visitation might be the best option. Absentee parents who want to establish a relationship with their children after a divorce can sometimes find that supervised visitation alleviates stress.
Your attorney will be able to help you review your unique situation to determine if a supervised visitation order is in the best interest of your children.
4. No Visitation
It is rare for a judge to order that a parent's visitation rights be revoked entirely, but it does happen.
A judge will evaluate your circumstances and visit with each of your children privately when trying to determine if a no visitation order should be issued. If it's in the best interest of the children to completely eliminate contact with a parent, the judge will not hesitate to sign a no-visitation order.
No visitation orders are typically used in cases where any type of visitation would be physically or emotionally detrimental to the children involved.
Pursuing the right type of visitation order is an important part of your divorce. Work with your attorney to ensure you are protecting your parental rights and acting in the best interest of your children as you request a visitation order in the future.