When two individuals are married, live under the same roof, and share children, there is generally a presumption that they will work together to support their kids’ emotional, physical, and financial needs. However, when divorce forces parents to live separate lives, it can be difficult for them to understand the truncated schedules that they may end up with regarding their sons and daughters. In some cases, parents will share custody of their kids, but, in other situations, one parent may end up with visitation rights.

Visitation is the right of a parent to spend time with their child without having physical custody of that child. While custodial rights allow parents to let kids live in their homes, visitation rights allow parents to have contact with their kids through face-to-face meetings and electronic communications. How a parent’s visitation rights and schedules are established will depend on the needs of their child.

A parent may be granted reasonable visitation with their child, and this often means that the parents can work out when the noncustodial parent will be able to spend time with the child. In essence, a parent with custodial rights cannot prevent a noncustodial parent from seeing or contacting their child.

A parent may also be granted fixed visitation, which means that the parent’s time with their child is regularly scheduled and not subject to the choices of the parents. Depending upon the needs of a child, a visitation schedule may look very different. Those parents working out custody and visitation matters may wish to seek the help of family law attorneys to answer their important questions.