While a parent’s hope is that after a custody and parenting time schedule is agreed upon, litigation is over. Unfortunately, to enforce or modify the order, going back to court is unavoidable.
One parent may want to change the schedule. A parent may be frustrated because the other isn’t living up to the agreed-upon terms. A family lawyer or a child visitation lawyer can help.
“Heated arguments over parenting time are not healthy for anyone, especially the child who suffers the most,” says family lawyer Joseph H. Nivin. “All too often feelings erupt when the custodial parent feels the child is not being properly cared for during parenting time, when a parent is late, or a parent keeps the child longer than agreed upon.” In New York, either parent, siblings and half-siblings and grandparents can ask for visitation. However, grandparents face hurdles that parents do not when they seek time with the children over the objection of a parent.
Family law courts use the “best interests of the child” standard to settle child visitation disputes. The first step toward obtaining a child visitation order will depend on whether the parties are already involved in a family law case or need visitation modification. In either case, your family lawyer will prepare a petition for visitation to present to the court.
Here are a few factors the court considers when deciding on a visitation case.
- Parent’s relationship with the child
- Home environment
- Any disruption that the requested schedule would impose upon the child’s education
- The child’s overall physical, emotional and developmental well-being
If you have not established a case, the parent seeking visitation must initiate one. When the parents are married, visitation can be requested as part of a divorce. However, if you are the father, you were not married to the mother at the time of conception or birth, and you did not sign an acknowledgement of paternity, you probably have to establish paternity before the court can issue orders of parenting time.
Remember it’s against the law to deny a parent visitation that has been ordered by a court even if the other parent is late to visits or not paying child support. Instead of engaging in “self-help,” if you want to enforce an order of child support, then speak with an attorney about filing a petition to do so.
Need more info? Contact Us