Austin, TX (PressExposure) July 19, 2008 -- In Family Law, contact or visitation (United States) is one of the general terms which denote the level of contact a parent or other significant person in a child's life can have with that child. Contact forms part of the bundle of rights and privileges which a parent may have in relation to any child of the family.
Generally speaking, visitation is considered only a privilege granted to the non-custodial parent of any child of the family. The standard visitation award by the family court in most U.S. states consists of alternating weekends and some holidays. Learn more about this with the Austin family lawyer.
However, the child, at or around the age of 13, depending on the state, may choose in which parent's home to live without government interference.
Parents, and in some jurisdictions grandparents, frequently believe that they have a right to visitation or access; however, courts in several countries have used the subjective doctrine of the best interests of the child to deny parental or grandparental access to the child or children. Visit the Austin family lawyer for more information about this.
This is commonly found in cases when custody of the child or children is disputed and there is a history of interference with visitation. In such high conflict cases, there are often allegations of child abuse and/or domestic violence.
In high conflict cases, visitation may be supervised by a social worker, psychologist, guardian ad litem, or other third party while the noncustodial parent visits with the child.
Many noncustodial parents have visitation orders that allow the child to visit with them without any supervision. These visits often take place away from the custodial residence. Often the noncustodial parent is granted overnight visitation, weekend visitation, or vacation visitation.
Parents may also share custody and may agree to allow visitation. In these situations a court order may not be needed, though sometimes it is obtained to forestall later disputes about what the parents had previously agreed to, and to allow the courts to have some oversight over the children. For more details about the contact or visitation, then visit the Austin family lawyer for more details.