In a divorce involving young children, one parent is awarded physical custody of the children while the other is almost always given visitation rights. These visitation rights are typically “frequent and meaningful,” often occurring on repetitive schedules such as every other weekend, every other holiday and possibly a mid-week night if the parents live in close proximity.
The courts usually grant overnight visitation to the non-custodial parent, following the divorce, unless that parent does not have a safe place for the child to stay. Visitation schedules are in place even when there is joint custody between parents, regarding of who is paying child support.
A non-custodial parent’s right of visitation to his or her children is one of the most important rights established during the divorce process. Attorney Jonathan D. Katz has over 30 years of experience in matrimonial law, including a wide range of child custody and visitation cases. His goal is always to look out for the best interests of the children. In almost all cases this means awarding frequent visitation to the non-custodial parent so that he or she can maintain a healthy, meaningful relationship with the children.Family Law Attorney is Here to Help with Visitation Matters in New Paltz, Kingston and Across New York State
Mr. Katz will draft a child custody and visitation plan to achieve the client’s goals in the most efficient way possible. In most cases, the parents can come to a mutually convenient visitation schedule that reflects their own practical needs while giving the child the benefit of both parents’ guidance, nurturing and love.
Sometimes, however, deep divisions between the parents – whether based on religion or morals, a domestic violence problem, or a history of chemical dependency – can lead to sharp disagreements as to visitation conditions or even the fitness of a parent to care for the children.
When necessary, Mr. Katz will consult with child development experts to prove his client’s case in an effort to protect the well-being of the children. Charges of parental unfitness are taken very seriously by New York family law court judges whenever substantial evidence appears to support the allegations.
As an experienced child custody attorney, Jonathan D. Katz works with parents on either side of a visitation dispute to make sure that the case is presented clearly and convincingly. If it will advance the case, he can use experts to develop informed testimony about the suitability of a proposed visitation schedule in a given situation.Common Visitation Questions & Answers
Q: If my child’s other parent is behind on child support payments, can I prevent his or her visitation?
A: Parenting time and child support are not dependent on each other. It is not considered to be in the best interests of the child to prevent contact with the other parent because of child support problems. You have other remedies, like going to court or the child support enforcement office, to collect past-due child support payments.
Q: I want to move to another state with my child. Can I do that?
A: This is another custody matter that varies from state to state, but most states share some overriding principles. The court will probably weigh:
- the reason for the move
- its probable effect on the child
- whether you have sole or joint custody
- if the child’s other parent has objected to the move
- how often the other parent will be able to see the child
Q: What is parental alienation syndrome?
A: Parental alienation syndrome occurs when one parent convinces the child that the other parent has nothing to offer the child (or that the other parent is a bad parent or spouse), and the child comes to see the other parent in a negative light. The child insists on staying with one parent and refusing to see the other, usually in order to show loyalty to one parent. Courts disapprove of this type of behavior on the part of a parent and typically demonstrate such disapproval when making custody and visitation decisions.
Q: What about grandparents’ visitation rights?
A: Grandparents do have rights when it comes to visitation in the State of New York. Of course, it’s usually best for the children for co-parents to agree on the best ways to allow offspring to associate with members of the extended family when appropriate. See our page on grandparents visitation to learn more about the rights of parents and grandparents under various circumstances.
At the law offices of Jonathan D. Katz, we understand that the problems presented by divorce cases will come and go, but the relationship between parent and child is a lifelong bond. Protecting that relationship is our first priority.Contact Attorney Jonathan D. Katz for Visitation Concerns in Ulster County and Surrounding NY Towns
For all visitation and child custody questions, including modification requests and emergency situations, contact the law offices of Attorney Jonathan D. Katz for a no-cost, confidential free consultation. Request your free consultation by calling (845) 834-4747 or toll-free (866) 614-8872 or fill out our convenient online contact form.