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Child visitation schedules are court-ordered arrangements that spell out how physical custody of children will be shared by divorced parents. When parents get divorced, the family court will have the final authority over how legal and physical custody of the children will be arranged. In some cases the court will grant sole custody to one parent. In these cases, child visitation schedules are not necessary because the non-custodial parent will not be allowed visitation rights.
When the court decides it is in the child's best interest, s/he will award joint custody. Joint custody means that the legal and/or physical custody of the child will be shared between the parents. Legal custody determines who will make the major decisions affecting the child's life, while physical custody determines who the child will live and spend time with. There are a few ways that child visitation schedules can be created.
Child visitation arrangements can be arranged by the parents providing that they can come up with a mutually acceptable agreement that meets the needs of the child. In many cases, however, circumstances to not allow parents to successfully negotiate child visitation arrangements. The court will be inclined to develop strict child visitation schedules in cases where the hostility between the parents is so great that their regular contact could be detrimental to the child.
Child visitation schedules can be generous to both parents, yet prohibit the opportunity for one parent to control the child visitation arrangements. Child visitation schedules can also be good for the children because they allow for greater predictability in an unsettling tome for the children. Because child visitation schedules are arranged by the courts, the parents have less discretion over how physical custody will be divided and arranged. In these situations, it can be helpful for a parent to seek the advise of a qualified family law attorney who can ensure that their rights and interests are protected during this legal process.
Child visitation schedules will typically name one parent as the primary or custodial caretaker and the other parent will be given child visitation rights. Child visitation schedules will typically allow the non custodial parent to have physical custody of the child every other weekend, maybe some week days, and certain holidays. When the non custodial parent has a history of violent or destructive behavior (so long as it was not directed at the child), child visitation schedules will require that visitations be proctored by a neutral adult at all times.
Child visitation schedules can be changed by petitioning the court for some modification of the current arrangement. There are many reasons why child visitation schedules may have to be modified. Child visitation schedules will always be created to meet the needs and best interests of the children involved.
More information on custody:
Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.