Visitation Options in a Child Custody Case
January 16, 2020
When one parent is awarded primary custody, the other parent receives “secondary custody” or “visitation.” The exact terms of that visitation can vary widely. Sometimes, visitation is open allowing for liberal flexibility in accordance with the mutual consent of the parties. This form of visitation requires parties to be able to communicate and place the needs of the children above all else. As anticipated, open visitation is not common.
The second and more common type of visitation is structured or scheduled visitation. This form of visitation allows for parties to have an exact schedule indicating when each parent will have the children. Common provisions can include every other weekend from a certain time on Friday to a certain time on Sunday, specific holidays on an alternating schedule, and a certain amount of time over the summer. Agreements can also include a right of first refusal which allows the non-custodial parent to have the children when the custodial parent is unavailable rather than allowing the children to go to a third party such as a babysitter. So long as parties agree, custody agreements can allow for creative problem solving.
Custody agreements can also include a number of miscellaneous clauses such as what happens when one parent is late to a pickup, how often and when telephonic communication is to occur, and the possibility of makeup days when visitation is missed.
Fayetteville NC 28301
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