Portsmouth Visitation Rights Lawyers
At Kozak, Davis & Renninger, P.C., we understand the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with your child – especially if you were not granted child custody during your divorce. In the event the judge did not award you with custody, you still have the right to visitation time with your child. Visitation rights guarantee a noncustodial parent with the right to spend time with their child.
What Factors Does the Court Consider When Determining Visitation?
In every custody and visitation case, the court must consider the best interest of the child.
Some of the factors the court will consider include but are not limited to the following:
- Age and physical and mental needs of the child
- Relationship between each parent and the child
- Role each parent has played and will play in the future to raise and care for the child
- Propensity of each parent to actively support the child’s relationship with the other parent
- Child’s preferences
- History of substance abuse or domestic violence
- Any other factors the court deems necessary
The purpose of the Virginia best interest standard is to provide the court with discretion to award a visitation plan that is consistent with the child’s health, safety, wellbeing, and education. A judge can give as much or as little weight to whatever factor he/she deems necessary.
How Is Visitation Determined?
Parents can establish their own visitation schedule or if they cannot agree on one, a judge will order one for them. A visitation schedule encompasses everything from general visitation days to holidays, school breaks, vacations, and special occasions.
In Virginia, a court may modify a custody and visitation agreement if there has been a material change in circumstances and if doing so would be in the best interest of the child. Some examples of possible material changes in circumstances include:
- Child’s educational needs are not being met
- Custodial parent exhibits dangerous behavior, such as abuse
This material change cannot have taken place since the date of the last custody and visitation court order. You can modify a visitation court order as often as you would like, however; you should only bring your matter back to court when a material change has occurred that could impact your child’s life negatively if the order were to remain the same.
Enforcing a Visitation Order
If your ex-spouse has violated a court-order visitation agreement, such as failing to pick up your child at an appointed time or refusing to give your child back at the end of a visitation period, you can enforce this order. The first step would be to determine if you can work with your ex-spouse and his/her lawyer to avoid the need to go to court. If this does not prove possible, you will want to consult with an attorney to file a motion to get your ex-spouse to comply with this order.
Secure an Initial Consultation with a Knowledgeable Lawyer at our Firm
If you need help establishing, modifying, or enforcing a custody and visitation arrangement, you will require the experience and knowledge of a seasoned family law attorney. With over a century of experience assisting Virginians, our team of experienced attorneys can help you attain a favorable case outcome. We are deeply invested in the clients we serve and work tirelessly to help them, and their loved ones navigate their custody and visitation rights with ease. We are here to help you maintain the relationship you want with your children – whenever possible.