Divorce: Father's Visitation Rights

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Divorce: Father's Visitation Rights

Few issues in divorce are as important and emotional as parents’ visitation rights. Often, the court will award the mother more contact hours with their children. Thus, the mother ends up controlling the children’s schedules.

However, it is inevitable that the mother will not be able to stick to strict time requirements, as when their children are sick or are taking naps. This does not mean the father’s rights are violated. Only when the mother’s level of control extends unreasonably into the father’s visitation hours are the father’s rights violated. For example, it may be okay for the mother to prevent the father from visiting their child on a Sunday where the child is sick, but it may not be okay for the mother to prevent the father from visiting every Sunday (when Sundays are the father’s scheduled visitation time).

The Rights of Fathers

The divorce decree grants the father certain visitation rights – the decree’s provisions are the important things to consider. Among the father’s rights are:

Modifying the Divorce Decree

When the mother without the father’s approval changes the visitation rights, the father may go to court to ask for a modification of the divorce decree. Essentially, the father may go to court to get his visitation hours and schedule changed or prevents the mother from moving out-of-state.

The Non-Rights of Fathers

Additionally, fathers have “non-rights.” Fathers do not have the right:

Generally, fathers should act with the utmost maturity and discernment to maintain his credibility with the divorce court.

Consulting an Attorney

If you believe your visitation rights have been violated, a family law attorney can help you enforce your rights or even change your court order to make it fair.

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Last Modified: 01-11-2014 11:51 AM PST

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