Child Custody and Visitation

By Staff Writer

Child custody and visitation can be the areas of the most dissension and enmity between divorcing spouses. If you don't get a workable child custody and visitation schedule mapped out during divorce and separation, then you will be fighting every time you see each other to pick up or drop off your kids. You need to do everything you can to avoid this, because it will turn into a never-ending nightmare that will seriously affect your child's outlook on life and his self-esteem.

State Guidelines for Child Custody And Visitation
In order to protect the best interests of the children, and to protect the visitation rights of the non-custodial parent, most states have guidelines for a minimum amount of time for a visitation. They have developed these guidelines because too many couples ended up in court fighting over visitation rights. Feuding ex-spouses can deny visitation, shorten visitation, or be so unreliable that visitation is not regular, and now in most states this is illegal.

If you are a custodial spouse and you have reason to believe that your ex's visitations are harmful to your child, you cannot cancel them or shorten them on your own. It will take a court order to change the frequency and duration of the visitation. However, if there is a danger to the child, the courts will strenuously defend the child and investigate the abusive parent.

Examples of parent's behavior which result in suspended or abrogated visitations are drug use, mental instability, alcohol addiction, deviant sexual behavior or violence. The court may decide that the parent's behavior does not warrant suspension of visitations, but may rule that a third party, a designated adult, be present at all times during the visitation. On the other hand, unscrupulous parents may attempt to foment bogus child abuse charges against their ex in order to get them out of their children's lives. If you feel you are a victim of unfair accusations, you can get emotional support from the organization Victims of Child Abuse Laws. In all these cases, it's best to get legal advice from recommended websites.