Visitation is the right of a parent to spend time with a child. This right is not absolute and can be restricted in many situations. The court can deny visitation entirely or require that it be supervised. The court may also order that there be certain times when the child cannot be with either parent. This can also be done in cases where there is a danger to the child.
Physical custody is a shared responsibility. Physical custody is assigned to one parent, while the other parent gets regular scheduled time with the child. This is often done by alternating weeks or months with the children. Joint custody is another common arrangement. In this scenario, one parent stays in the family home while the children see the other parent regularly. This arrangement is called “nesting,” and is used by some parents. The children spend most of their time with the parent who has primary physical custody.
The main difference between physical custody and visitation is how much time each parent gets to spend with the child. In a split-custody arrangement, the child lives with each parent at least 35% of the time. However, in a joint-custody arrangement, the child spends more time with the other parent.
A parent with legal custody of a child can make decisions about the child’s upbringing and religious education. They can choose which schools, healthcare providers, and religion the child attends. However, the courts generally award shared custody to both parents, because it is in the best interests of the child to have both parents involved.
The other parent has the right to petition for change. However, in this case, the petitioner must prove that there has been a substantial change in circumstances since the last custody order and that the change is in the child’s best interest. The courts are also keen to maintain stability in custody arrangements and will not make a change without a significant change in the child’s primary residence. The parents are both entitled to an attorney during the custody process. If one parent cannot afford a lawyer, the court will assign one for them.
You may also be able to reach an agreement between the parents with the help of mediation. This process is free and confidential. In mediation, the parents work with a neutral mediator to develop a parenting plan. A judge will sign the agreement and allow it to be enforced.
A parent can also obtain joint physical custody of a child. While this type of custody doesn’t involve an exact 50:50 time split, it is often close to 50-50. Joint physical custody is usually the best choice if both parents live within a reasonable distance from one another.
The judge will consider the best interest of the child in custody and visitation decisions. He will gather information about both parents and both homes, as well as reports from the Attorney For the Children. In addition, the judge will consider the wishes of the children. The weight that he/she gives to the wishes of the child will depend on the child’s age and maturity.