Divorcing parents may deal with child custody in a number of ways. For example, many share joint custody, in which both parents have approximately equal parenting time and decision-making responsibility for the children. In these instances, the children frequently travel back and forth between the homes of both parents. Other Florida families may have one parent retain sole or primary custody of the child while the other parent has visitation time.
Absent a context of abuse or neglect, promoting a positive relationship with both parents can be particularly important for a child's health and well-being. When a family court deals with custody issues, it will likely put a child visitation schedule in place. At times, this schedule may be jointly agreed upon by the parents and their attorneys. For more contentious divorces, however, the court will create the order for visitation.
A child visitation schedule creates a precise definition of the dates and times when the non-custodial parent will be with the child. Sometimes, this must be supervised visitation. For the most part, however, visitation will be unsupervised and take place at the home of the non-custodial parent. In case of more complex situations, a magistrate will direct that the visitation schedule contain any necessary conditions and stipulations.
A court-ordered child visitation schedule carries the weight of law. When sorting out the thorny issues of child custody and visitation, a family law attorney can represent the interests of a divorcing parent. A lawyer can fight for increased parenting time and work to ensure that the interests of the child are protected.