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Child visitation is one of the hotly contested issues in divorce proceedings. This is an issue that requires careful thought and consideration. NYC visitation rights lawyers can guide separated couples through this delicate process. They have the experience to explain what you can expect in a child custody case. When a child custody issue is taken to court, the court determines visitation arrangements. These rights are premised on a child’s best interest.
Determining a child’s best interests
There are several factors that the courts consider when trying to establish the best interests of a child in a custody case, among them:
• Gender and age of the child
• Emotional health of the child
• The physical and mental status of the parents
• The financial status of the parents. Are there outstanding debts?
• The lifestyle of both parents, and how that will or has affected the child.
• The stability of the parents regarding jobs and living situations
• Emotional ties already established between each of parents and the child
• Quality of education where the child is expected to reside
• The readiness of the parents to ensure that they maintain a healthy relationship between them and the child.
Custodial/residential parent rights
Physical child custody is granted to the residential or custodial parent. The residential parent is the one who lives with the child for most of the time. The non-custodial parent is granted reasonable visitation rights. These time schedules can be set by the courts where the parents fail to agree. Child visitation rights are given based on the best interests of the child. The court appreciates the need for the child to spend time with each of the parents. If you feel, you should be the custodial parent, and you have been denied this right, you need to seek the services of a visitation rights lawyer. If you also wish to make amends to any previously agreed child visitation agreement, an attorney can help you present your sentiments.
Child visitation arrangements need to be addressed during the divorce proceedings. If you wait for too long, the judge may conclude that the child custody issue is merely an afterthought to you. However, if you waited too long to begin fighting for custody, you can still prove that you were working on yourself to become a better parent to the child. Initial case evaluations are usually free, so you do not have an excuse for not consulting with a visitation attorney.
Denial of Child Visitation
The non-custodial parent has the right to seek mediation or go to court if the custodial parent denies visitation. There are several reasons as to why visitation may be denied:
• Child’s wishes
• Alcohol or drug abuse
• Disapproval of a new relationship
• Religious differences
• Failure to pay child support
• Fear of child abuse
• Fear of abduction
When a custody order is already in force, it is illegal for the custodial parent to deny visitation rights. Denial can have serious repercussions because it shows a lack of good faith. If any of the spouses believe that they have reasonable grounds for denying visitation, they should notify the authorities. For instance, if there is a risk of emotional or bodily harm, immediate action needs to be taken. A family lawyer who specializes in child custody cases can also help in such situations.
How to enforce visitation rights
If you have been denied visitation rights, there are several options at your disposal. It is advisable first to contact the resident parent and establish their reasons for the denial. If you fail to reach an agreement, you can pursue these measures:
• Document the violation: It is good to have proof that you went to the agreed location and the visitation was denied. This adds the credibility of your case.
• File a motion: If you have tried resolving the issues with the custodial parent with no success, then you can file a motion. In the motion, you can request the court to enforce the custody agreement, modify it, or issue a sanction that prevents the other party from future violations.
• Contact the authorities: if you have a signed court order, you can contact the police to have it enforced. They can appoint a law enforcement officer to oversee the exchange.
Custody and child visitation issues evoke lots of emotions and anxiety. It is advisable to let the experience of NYC visitation rights lawyers work for you.