Understanding Visitation Rights in Child Custody Cases

by: Lina Martinez

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 12.38.35 PM.png

Parents who are not granted custody of their kids are usually awarded substantial visitation rights. In the majority of instances, courts strongly encourage and support both parents’ involvement in their kids’ lives, even if they decide that it’s in the best interest of the kids to live in just one stable location. This means that if you are not awarded custody, you must still exercise your child visitation rights to ensure that you have a great relationship with your kids. To help you understand the court’s decision, you have to understand why the court does not grant you custody.

Why Parents Might Be Denied Custody

The main concern of the court is the well-being and safety of your kid. But being denied child custody does not automatically mean that the court sees your home as unsuitable for your child. In most instances, courts favor awarding physical child custody to parents who have been the primary caregiver of the kids or when those parents deem that going back and forth on a regular basis between two households is not in the best interest of the kids. If you want to learn more why the court does not award your custody, refer to the written ruling and research the custody laws in your state.

What If the Court Also Denies Visitation?

In select instances, courts may also deny visitation rights. The following are the most common reasons why courts do not award parents visitation rights:

  • The parent has no contact or relationship with the kids

  • The parent failed to exercise their visitation rights according to a past court order

  • The court discovers evidence that the parent has abused the kids and/or the other parent

  • The court finds evidence of  the parent’s history with substance abuse

  • The parental rights of the parent have been terminated

If you have been denied visitation rights, you can fight to have them reinstated. Generally speaking, the court will give you a specific action plan detailing what you need to do to get your rights restored. It is also best to work with one of the local family lawyers in Albuquerque to help you out when you work toward reinstatement of your visitation rights.

What to Know About Alternative Visitation Rights

Screen Shot 2019-06-20 at 12.39.20 PM.png

Although most parents prefer unrestricted and regular visitation, alternatives exist for parents who are working toward obtaining standard visitation rights. These include supervised visitation and virtual visitation. With supervised visitation, meetings with the kid will involve supervision of a court-assigned individual. With virtual visitation, the court will enable the parent to contact the child through virtual means such as through FaceTime, Skype, or other video conferencing apps.

If you do not find your existing visitation enough and you want the court to reassess your case, you may request for a visitation rights modification. However, it is very crucial to note that you should check with your family lawyer for more details. There are specific rules that you need to follow when requesting a modification from the court.