Divorce: Mother's Visitation Rights
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Are Mothers Entitled to Visitation Rights?
The visitation rights of parents to spend time with their children often create the bitterest legal and emotional battles in a divorce. It can be emotionally challenging for a mother to deal with the negative public perception as a mother who has been denied custody, or worse yet, all visitation rights. Although it is unconstitutional for a court to assume that mothers make better parents, they are awarded physical custody the majority of the time.
What Do a Mother’s Visitation Rights Include?
A mother’s visitation rights include:
- The right to interact with her children during the court-ordered times
- The right to schedule games and activities during this time
- The right to be free from the father’s control, threats, and impositions
- The right to notify the police if her visitation hours are being denied, as a first step to petitioning the court to make changes.
- The right to get an injunction to stop the father from taking the children out-of-state
What Can Courts Consider in Denying Visitation?
Divorce courts consider first and foremost the welfare of the child. While divorce courts do not deny a mother’s visitation rights based solely on societal norms as they used to, the factors can still be highly impressionistic. Courts have the power to rely on societal norms to the extent that they affect the safety, health, and well-being of the child.
The good news is that the mother has the right to petition the court to modify the visitation and custody arrangements. Custody orders are not permanent.
Should I Consult an Attorney?
If you are engaged in custody disputes, or have not received the visitation rights you think are appropriate, a family law attorney can help. Child custody and visitation can be an emotional and contentious matter. An attorney can help you evaluate the current and future options for your and your child.
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Last Modified: 01-22-2014 10:10 AM PST
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