When a child’s parents separate, they will typically live with one of their parents most of the time. This parent is called the custodial parent, and the other is referred to as the noncustodial parent. If the child is old enough, they may choose with whom they live.
Courts in Florida understand the psychological and emotional importance of a child maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents. Often, they will award the non-custodial parent what is known as “reasonable visitation.” What is it and what should you know about it?
Reasonable Visitation Defined
Reasonable visitation is a term that is used to describe fair visitation for the non-custodial parent, based on the best interests of the child. In most child custody cases, it’s beneficial for the child to have an ongoing relationship with both of their parents. This is true even when one parent only has partial visitation.
However, visitation may not be reasonable in certain cases. For example, a non-custodial parent with a history of abuse or domestic violence may find it difficult to be awarded any type of visitation. Or, a court may see fit to award a parent who is actively working towards self-betterment infrequent, supervised visitation.
How Reasonable Child Visitation Works
If possible, you and your ex-partner should create a visitation schedule that is agreeable for both of you. Take your work schedules into consideration, along with any extracurricular and educational activities that your child has. Make sure you plan in advance for special events and holidays and come up with a proposed visitation schedule that offers your child the most stability.
When Will a Judge Decide Reasonable Visitation?
If you cannot reach an agreement with your ex about a mutually beneficial visitation schedule on your own, the court will need to intervene. This means that your custody case is contested, and you no longer have the final say in what visitation looks like for your family.
Many courts default to “standard” visitation for the non-custodial parent. Many people recognize this as visitation every other weekend and two weeks a year (usually during the summer if a child is school-age), and alternating holidays.
Why Contact a Tampa Family Law Attorney for Your Visitation Case
The outcome of your child custody dispute hinges largely on the evidence you’re able to present and how you’re able to present it. This is where an experienced Tampa child custody attorney can help. Contact Mindi Lasley today to schedule your consultation at 813.873.9047.