Traditional marriage vows used to include “Until Death Do Us Part ” While that may not be the case in the modern world, it still describes a parental relationship. A broken bond between parent and child can be devastating for both parties. If you are a parent facing a divorce, advanced planning is the best way to secure your visitation rights. Before your custody negotiations begin, below are a few things to consider.
Cooperative Visitation Plan
When divorce is imminent and you have offspring, you need a plan to provide for the well-being of any children under eighteen. If you have a decent working relationship with the opposite parent, you can attempt to create a visitation plan. Creating a plan before court proceedings allow you more control over the eventual visitation outcome.
It is important that the plan is as detailed and comprehensive as possible. The proposal should provide specific visitation schedules, including holidays and weekends. Both parents should agree on well-defined financial arrangements, including regular and unforeseen expenses. The plan should also include provisions for medical care, insurance coverage, and education goals.
If the parents do not have a decent working relationship, or they are unable to create a visitation plan, a divorce or child custody attorney can help. Attorneys have extensive experience assisting families with custody plans that pass court standards. Going to court with a well-defined proposal makes it more likely that the judge’s ruling will secure your visitation rights.
Court Custody Process
For couples with children, the custody process is an important part of divorce proceedings. If the couple arrives in court with a comprehensive child visitation proposal, the process will be easier on the family. Whether the couple or an attorney created the plan, the judge makes the ruling on the final custody order. If either party is unsatisfied with that judgment, they can appeal the decision. An attorney is usually required to successfully navigate the complex appeals process.
Once a judge has ruled, all parties are expected to follow the visitation plan to the best of their ability. If circumstances significantly change, either party can request a revision. When the parents can negotiate another visitation plan, they can file a Stipulation and Order with the court. Otherwise, the party requesting the change can file for a return to court for a new decision.
The Basis for the Visitation Decisions
Perhaps one of the most important things to understand is that the court is focused on the child’s well-being. Judges will usually only revoke visitation rights when one parent has a history of abuse or illegal drug use. Similarly, changes to the visitation orders should be requested when a change is best for the children. An attorney can help you understand when and how best to file to alter a visitation order.
Contact an Attorney Today to Secure Your Visitation Rights
If you and your spouse are planning a divorce, now is the time to begin thinking about your children. If the parents are unable or unwilling to create a visitation plan, you should contact an attorney today to secure your visitation rights. Please feel free to reach out to us at your convenience for a free case review.