How does visitation and custody work for divorced couples?

When you have custody of your child or have retained visitation rights, there are certain rules that you and the other parent have to follow. If you try to withhold child support to get more time with your child or attempt to prevent your child from seeing his or her other parent, those acts could jeopardize your custody rights.

When you have physical custody of your children and your ex has visitation, you have to do your best to meet the visitation requirements. Yes, sometimes things come up that make visitation that particular day impossible. For example, if your child falls ill, you may not want to move him or her to another location. It's still up to you to find a way to make up the lost parenting time, however.

In many cases, joint physical custody is now recommended. Many parents also share legal custody. In those situations, both parents have the right to make important decisions about their children and may also live with their children at some point during each week or month. For example, two parents who live close together may share custody by having a child spend one week in one home and then one week in the other.

For parents without custody, visitation gives them the ability to see their children and spend time with them. The children don't live with the parents who have visitation rights, so it's important to make sure any visitation time is kept. If a parent regularly misses visitation times, there could be a cause to have visitation reduced or taken away completely.

Your attorney can talk to you more about visitation, custody and what to expect after a divorce.

Source: FindLaw, "Custody or Visitation Interference," accessed Dec. 28, 2017

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