Buffalo, NY- Many New York families are torn apart by divorce, so they have to deal with many issues, and one of those very antagonistic issues is child visitation. Joint custody arrangements are preferable, but a couple must still develop a visitation plan. Here USAttorneys would like to discuss the basics of visitation and how to deal with some if the common problems that arise.
Buffalo’s family courts prefer joint custody arrangements, which allows a child to spend equal time with each parent, but joint custody is not always a possibility. When one parent is granted primary custody, a couple must then figure out a visitation schedule so that child can have a relationship with both parents. Courts will only deny a non-custodial parent visitation if there is a good reason why they should. For instance, if one spouse has a history of being abusive, a court can deny them visitation rights.
So, who can seek visitation? In New York, parents, grandparents, and siblings can seek visitation, but the courts are the final arbiters. Family courts will give a couple the opportunity to come up with a visitation plan, if you a couple can’t, a judge will consider the facts of their case to develop one for them. That may work for some couples, but it does take the decision out of a couple’s control, something that can be avoided by enlisting a child custody attorney in Buffalo.A custodial parent have legal options they can explore if their spouse refuses to honor a visitation agreement.
Once a visitation order is in place, a parent may experience a life-changing event, change jobs or move out of state and need to modify their visitation orders. To do so, a parent needs to go to the family court and submit a petition requesting a modification. A modification is not instantly approved because the requesting parent must be able to demonstrate they have had a change in circumstances.
What if one parent isn’t honoring the visitation schedule, what can the other parent do? In this situation, a parent must file a court order requesting the visitation order be enforced. They will have the opportunity to present their case, and a judge will decide if the other is in violation of their visitation order. If so, a judge can sanction the violator and amend visitation orders.
It is possible to have a visitation order suspended if a child’s well-being is at risk if the visits continue. Say, for instance, a parent begins to develop a substance abuse problem and uses in the presence of their child. Drug use is seen as a dangerous behavior, in regards to children, and visitation may be rescinded until they can prove they are no longer a danger to their children.A family court judge will decide on visitation if a couple cannot agree on an arrangement.
Parents often ask: Can I deny my estranged spouse visitation if they miss a child support payment? No, a parent cannot deny visitation for a missed child support payment. However, that doesn’t mean that they have no recourse of action if their ex-husband or wife continues to miss child support payments or get behind. In this situation, the custodial parent should go to the court a submit a “Petition for Violation of a Support Order.” A court can decide that the noncustodial parent is in violation of their support agreement can initiate collections which can include wage garnishment and possibly incarceration.
Like most divorce-related issues, visitation is complicated, so a parent could use someone on their side. If you are divorcing and need assistance with child custody or visitation, USAttorneys encourages you to speak with a divorce and child custody lawyer serving Buffalo to assist you with your case.