Child parenting time or visitation is the time that a noncustodial parent spends with his or her child. Custody and visitation rights are granted based upon your child’s best interests, and generally the family court prefers minor children to have regular and continuing contact with both parents when possible.
Although Pennsylvania custody laws enable parents to come to reasonable visitation agreements between themselves, the plan must be in the child’s best interests and the parents must agree on it. Problems arise when the parents cannot reach an agreement and, in such a case, the court steps in and develops a child visitation schedule that the parents and child must follow. Situations that can make reaching a child parenting agreement difficult can include:
• Acrimony between the ex-spouses
• The desire of one parent to punish the other
• Disputes over child support payments
• Domestic abuse and/or parental neglect issues
The family court views visitation rights as a privilege, so custody is not automatically awarded. In fact, if the court determines that awarding visitation is not in the child’s best interests, sole custody may be awarded to the other parent. And even if visitation rights are denied, the noncustodial parent is required to pay child support.
However, child parenting plans are not set in stone and can be modified for several reasons. An experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney can help you determine if your circumstances are adequate to request a modification of an existing child custody order.
Consult a Pennsylvania family law attorney
In any divorce proceeding involving minor children it is always prudent to work with an experienced family law attorney. Contact us online or call (215) 886-1266 and schedule a consultation to discuss your child parenting time issue.