When a divorce or dissolution of marriage is brought before the family court, child visitation is considered at the same time and according to similar factors as child custody. The term stands for the time in which the non-custodial parent is allowed to meet or visit with his/her child. However, under certain circumstances a parent can be denied child visitation or child custody in the case of sole physical custody. Child visitation is often associated with the term “parenting plan,” which typically outlines the type of legal custody and physical custody of each parent and can also define when the child is to visit or be with the non-custodial parent. Parents can reach such an agreement on their own, this is the best case, or the court can decide on this matter, which is often the worst case scenario.

Typically, the best situation for a child in a divorce, child custody, and child visitation matter is when both parents manage to solve their personal differences to reach an agreement or parenting plan or child visitation schedule out of court. In this case, any agreements reached between both parents can become the parenting plan. When a parenting plan is created and child visitation and child custody issues are resolved, it may not require anymore matters to be brought to the court even if the child is very young. A decade ago, the family courts would often give infant visitation guidelines preventing the non-custodial parent from spending a lot of time with his/her child. Such provisions are not valid anymore, but rather frequent and continuous contact with both parents is encouraged. Off court agreements does not necessarily need to be translated in a written contract and signed by both parents. However, parents may be well advised to have a written and signed parenting plan for future reference in case a child custody or child visitation dispute arises. It can also be used as a stipulation between both parties and then issued as a court order for future enforcement purposes.

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Now, what if the parents are not able to reach an agreement on child visitation or child custody? Both parents will often be required to participate in a mediation process before having a court hearing or before a judge hears the case. Typically, the two parents will be assisted to work out a parenting plan by a third-party or mediator, who can be an experienced attorney or social worker. Many child visitation and child custody issues find a happy ending through mediation sessions resulting in a parenting plan agreement, which can then be presented as a stipulation ad then as a court order.

Generally, the worst case is when mediation fails. In this situation, the next step is typically for a court hearing in order to solve the issues. Judges nowadays often require custody evaluations of the family by experts in the field of child psychiatry, psychology or mental health. Licensed social workers can also be called to present evidence for consideration by the court. Once all pieces of evidence have been presented, the court will typically make its decision. This is the worst case child custody and child visitation dispute method because it can be very complex, expensive, and long-draw out. In some highly contested child custody and child visitation cases, child custody and child visitation disputes will eventually result in denying child custody and child visitation rights to one of the parent.

© 2007 Child Custody Coach

Child Custody Coach supplies information, online materials, and coaching services to parents in the field of child custody, namely, divorce, child custody and visitation, child custody evaluations, 730 evaluations, parenting, and all issues related to child custody and divorce. “How to Win Child Custody – Proven Strategies that can Win You Custody and Save You Thousands in Attorney Cost!” is a unique child custody strategy guide written by The Custody Coach and made available by Child Custody Coach in an easy to read, understand, and apply E-Book format. Custody Match is an online consumer and family law attorney matching service to help you in your search for the right attorney for your divorce or child custody case. Custody Match can help you find the right family law attorney, divorce lawyer, or child custody attorney in your area.

Steven Carlson is the founder of Child Custody Coach. He is known nationally as The Custody Coach and provides individualized help and one-on-one coaching services to parents in the field of child custody and visitation issues, divorce, child custody evaluations, parenting, and attorney fee disputes. He is the author of the child custody E-Book strategy guide, “How to Win Child Custody – Proven Strategies that can Win You Custody and Save You Thousands in Attorney Cost!“. He provides support for Custody Match, a Southern California consumer and family law attorney matching service.

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