Divorce: Mother's 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 woman 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.
Mother’s rights include the right to interact with her children during the court-ordered times, the right to schedule games and activities during this time, and the right to be free from the father’s control, threats, and impositions. The mother has the right to notify the police if her visitation hours are being denied, as a first step to petitioning the court to make changes. Mothers have the right to get an injunction to stop the father from taking the children out-of-state.
Mothers do not have the right to do certain things. As with Britney Spears, mothers do not have the right to behave with immaturity, disrespect of the law, recklessness, or abuse of drugs or alcohol. For example, a court will consider the emotional effects on the child of a mother who shaves her head, engages in sexual promiscuity, and refuses to wear undergarments while in public.
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. For example, the court may consider as relevant that the mother only has a shower instead of a bath or makes the child sleep on an inflatable mattress on the living room floor.
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.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 01-30-2013 04:18 PM PST
Did you find this article informative?