Visitation

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Divorce can be incredibly difficult for parents, but the experience is usually even harder on their children. If you are recently divorced and have any type of child custody or visitation agreement with your ex, both of you need to adhere to the terms of this family court order. Unfortunately, many divorced parents and unmarried parents beholden to custody and visitation orders allow their issues with their co-parent to overtake good judgment, spurring them toward making decisions that are not in their children’s best interests. If you are preparing for a visitation determination in Rochester, NY, or if you have encountered any issues with a standing visitation order, it’s vital to know your options for resolving the situation.

Legal Representation for Rochester, NY, Visitation Disputes

The Trotto Law Firm, PC, has years of experience helping parents through the Rochester, NY, family court system. We understand how emotionally stressful visitation disputes can be for both custodial and noncustodial parents. Whatever the details of your custody and visitation order may be, we can help you address any unexpected issues that arise with your visitation terms. Attorney Jonathan Trotto and his team provide client-focused and compassionate legal representation to every client we represent.

Why You Need Legal Counsel for Visitation Issues

Navigating any family law matter can be much more complicated than you initially expect. These cases often involve deeply personal and emotional issues, especially those involving your children. If you face any dispute with your current visitation order, it’s essential to work with an experienced Rochester, NY, visitation attorney to reach the best possible outcome for your children. Likewise, if you are divorcing your co-parent, or if you are an unmarried parent preparing for child custody and visitation determination, it’s vital to have legal counsel you can trust in this situation.

An experienced Rochester, NY, visitation lawyer can carefully review the details of your current case and help you make practical decisions on your child’s behalf. The family court system determines child custody; this is not an issue that can be resolved privately between divorcing spouses or unmarried parents. When a custody determination results in visitation, one parent becomes the custodial parent while the other only has visitation rights. Therefore, no matter what side of the arrangement you are on, it is vital to have experienced legal representation guide you through your case proceedings.

What Are Visitation Rights?

Child custody is generally determined using two important metrics: physical and legal custody. Legal custody is the ability to make major decisions on behalf of a child and may be shared jointly by both parents or one parent may assume sole legal custody. Physical custody refers to residency, or where a child lives and spends the majority of their time. If one parent has primary physical custody, the children will spend more of their time with that parent. The other parent may then receive periods of visitation or periods of temporary residency. It’s possible to arrange temporary visitation or shared residency in various configurations, such as:

  • Alternating weekend stays with the other parent.
  • Spending specific holidays with each parent, such as Father’s Day with the father and Mother’s Day with the mother.
  • Shared residency or split physical custody arrangements, such as alternating weeks with each parent or 2-3-2-day arrangements. Parents must live close enough to one another for this to be feasible.

In the event a parent only receives limited visitation rights, the court will determine the frequency and nature of their visitation periods. Visitation could be supervised or unsupervised. When a parent receives temporary residency rights, their children may live with them for short periods of time, such as holiday breaks during the school year or short periods of time during summer breaks. It’s also possible for a custody arrangement to divide major holidays between the parents. For example, the children may spend alternating Christmas breaks with each parent. It’s important to remember that the residency time a child spends with each of their parents typically influences child support. The parent with more overnights with their children per year typically receives child support from the other parent.
In some cases, a parent may not qualify for shared residency to the nature of their work. If they must travel regularly or do not have a standard work schedule that would enable them to manage a shared residency, the court may rule in favor of granting the other parent primary residence. Some parents will only qualify for limited visitation or no visitation at all due to criminal actions. A significant substance abuse disorder, mental health disorder, or a history of domestic violence can easily preclude a parent from obtaining visitation, or they may only qualify for very limited supervised visitation.

If a parent is disabled, they may be physically unable to manage custody and only have visitation rights. If a parent committed any type of crime or engaged in domestic violence or child abuse, very limited visitation is likely the only form of contact they can legally have with their children, but it is more likely for a judge to limit contact with the child if a parent has a history of child abuse or domestic violence.

Visitation orders are arranged at the discretion of a Rochester, NY, family court judge. The judge overseeing the matter will carefully evaluate several issues to determine what visitation schedule would best suit the child’s needs and interests. When a parent only qualifies for visitation but has not proven to be an unfit parent, they may still have some measure of legal custody. If a parent with visitation has legal custody, the custodial parent must consult them regarding any significant decisions for their children.

When a parent only has limited supervised visitation rights, visitation may be supervised by the custodial parent, a court-appointed supervisor, or both. Supervised visitation is typically enforced when a parent has endangered the safety of the child or if they are suffering from a substance abuse disorder. Supervised visitation allows them to maintain some contact with their child without exposing the child to unnecessary risks. Over time, a parent with limited supervised visitation rights can qualify for more expansive visitation rights, but these cases are difficult to navigate. Whether a parent with visitation rights can qualify for greater visitation rights or unsupervised visitation may come down to the custodial parent’s discretion.

What to Expect From Your Rochester, NY, Visitation Lawyer

If you have encountered any issues regarding your visitation order, the Trotto Law Firm, PC, can assist you. Our team has extensive experience guiding clients through complex child custody and visitation disputes. Whether you face a multifaceted divorce case or a standalone visitation dispute, we can help.
Attorney Jonathan Trotto and his team of lawyers will work closely with you to determine the best approach to your current situation. For example, you may need to resolve a single dispute or perhaps petition for greater custody rights beyond your current visitation agreement. Whatever your situation entails, you can expect compassionate and personalized legal counsel from the Trotto Law Firm, PC.

Our team is ready to review the details of your situation and provide the legal counsel you need. If you are ready to discuss your situation with an experienced Rochester, NY, visitation attorney, contact us today to schedule a consultation with our firm.

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