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In Divorce And Other Family Law Matters

Visitation Rights In A Custody Or Divorce Case

Once custody has been decided upon, the parties will focus on arranging a schedule of parental access. In cases of sole and joint custody, such a schedule is also referred to as visitation rights, but the trend is moving toward using terminology that is less offensive to the noncustodial parent. Parental access schedules are ordinarily based upon fixed times each week; specific holidays will then be shared on an alternating basis, with summer and vacation periods worked out as well.

Unfortunately, not all families are able to set up parental access schedules with ease because there are dysfunctional elements that prevent the family from going forward in a way that will serve the best interests of the child. Sometimes one parent is deemed to be a potential danger to the child, such as in matters of drug or alcohol abuse or criminal behavior; the court could require visitation in those instances to be supervised by a friend, relative or agency. There are certain instances where therapeutic visitation is recommended where a mental health professional will conduct the visit during a scheduled office appointment. Some parents require the help of a Nassau County divorce lawyer to seek either supervised or therapeutic visitation.

In some cases, grandparents who have an established relationship with the child may seek through legal means to have visitation with their grandchild, but the court bases such decisions on whether the grandparent would have standing pursuant to statutory law (that is, the right to petition the court) and whether such visitation would serve the best interests of the child. Grandparent visitation rights will be determined on a case-by-case basis and are not guaranteed under New York state laws.

Holiday Visitation: Determining Parental Access

Parental access to the children will include a weekly, holiday and vacation schedule. The parties may negotiate a comprehensive written agreement or, if they are unsuccessful in their attempts to achieve a resolution, the court will be the final arbiter in the determining parental-access schedule. Usually parents share selected annual holidays on an alternating basis. Summer vacations are generally scheduled around the parties’ respective work schedules and the children’s camp or activities schedules. In the following schedule, the parties will acknowledge that holiday and vacation schedules will supersede regular weekly parental-access schedules.

Contact lawyer Jane K. Cristal for further information regarding custody and related visitation matters. We also represent clients throughout Long Island.