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When parents decide to divorce, one of the biggest issues they face is how to keep the well-being of their children at the forefront. This is especially important when it comes to visitation rights for the non-custodial parent, since it’s very difficult to make arrangements that will satisfy the parents as well as the children. In most divorce hearings where visitation rights are discussed, one parent always tends to feel cheated, which can lead to negotiations that can get very ugly in a hurry. Because of this, it’s always smart to hire a lawyer who has experience handling these cases, since the well-being of your children may be at stake.
Depending upon how both parents feel about potential custody arrangements, visitation hearings can take a number of different turns. For example, if both parents agree about the custody of the child, a formal hearing will not be necessary. Instead, the judge will hear testimony from both parents and then enter an order of custody on consent. However, if the parents cannot agree on custody arrangements, the judge will hear testimony in a formal hearing, and may also appoint a lawyer to represent the child or children involved. According to the New York Unified Court System, the judge may also order social services or other mental health agencies to conduct an investigation of the family and report their findings back to the court, enabling the judge to make the best decision. However, it’s important to note that in some counties within New York, visitation hearings can be heard by what are known as Family Court “Attorney-Referees,” who have complete authority to hear and decide cases, issue legal orders, and even refer the family to court-appointed mediation. More information about these possibilities may be found at Your text to link….
Reaching an Agreement
In most child visitation orders, parents can expect to find alternating weekends, alternating holidays, and at least four weeks of summer vacation. However, since the court always puts the child’s best interests ahead of everything else, these agreements can be altered in many ways. While keeping both parents as fully involved as possible in the child’s life is imperative, that may not be possible if it is determined that leaving the child alone with one of the parents could put the child in peril. In these situations, the court will order supervised visitation, which usually has another family member or social worker present during the visit.
Changing the Visitation Order
In some cases, one parent may move to have the existing visitation order changed or modified. As always, it’s best to have the services of an experienced visitation lawyer to help with this process, since it can become very complex depending upon the circumstances. For example, if a parent completes counseling and wants to do away with supervised visitation, they will need to ask the court to change the current visitation orders. In addition to this, if one parent relocates due to a job change, remarriage, or other life event, they will probably want the current visitation order modified.
Contact a Child Visitation Lawyer
Since you ultimately want what is best for your child or children after a divorce, it’s always best to consult with a knowledgeable child visitation lawyer before doing something rash that you will not only regret, but may in fact jeopardize your chances of being involved in your child’s life. Rather than withhold child support payments or continue to drag your spouse into court, consult a child visitation lawyer who can help you achieve the goals you want for you and your kids.