Many courts dispute whether the non-marital sexual conduct or relationship of the non-custodial parent affects the parent’s visitation rights. Basically there are two positions on the topic:
- Some jurisdictions assume that the non-custodial parent’s non-marital sexual conduct or relationship harms the child. These jurisdictions often restrict visitation rights to isolate the child from such exposure.
- Other jurisidictions require that the custodial parent establish that the non-custodial parent’s behavior instills "actual harm" to the child in order to obtain restrictions on the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights.
What Conduct is Considered “Harmful” to the Child?
Generally, courts today are less likely to enforce visitation restrictions on the basis of non-marital heterosexual relationships. However, some jurisdictions have considered the following behaviors of the non-custodial parent to have a "harmful" effect on the child:
- Gay or lesbian relationship
- Allowing the non-custodial parent’s partner to stay overnight
- Exercising visitation rights in a home shared by the non-custodial parent and his or her partner
How Does the Custodial Parent Change Visitation Rights of the Non-Custodial Parent?
When custodial parents want to change existing visitation rights, one person generally must show a change in circumstances that justifies an alteration. Furthermore, custodial parents must factor how the court will weigh whether a parent’s rights have been unconstitutionally violated through newly imposed visitation restrictions.
Will a Family Attorney Help in My Case for Child Visitation Rights?
There are many complex and emotional issues in dealing with children visitation rights. Courts will consider each one and weigh all the circumstances to make a final decision. Ultimately, the court must make a decision based on the best interests of the child. An experienced child visitation lawyer will assist you in seeking your interests and would be most beneficial to your case.