Divorce and separation can be difficult on Florida families, particularly when children are involved. When two parents share kids and then choose to end their relationship, they can struggle to come up with balanced plans that allow each parent to have meaningful time with their children. Often, matters related to the custody and visitation of kids are decided by the courts.
While child custody is an integral part of many divorce cases, visitation is also an important issue that may become relevant to some families. Visitation and custody are different parental rights that offer children different ways to stay connected to their parents. This informational post will introduce some of the basics about visitation that parents should know, but as with all posts on this blog, no reader should interpret its contents as legal advice.
The differences between visitation and custody
Child custody is often divided into two separate sets of parental rights: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody allows a parent to make important decisions about their child’s upbringing. Physical custody allows a parent to have their child live with them some or all the time.
Visitation is not custody. It gives a parent the right to see or spend time with their child outside of a custodial relationship. If a parent cannot care for their child, or if they parent may pose a risk to the child, then they may be denied custody and given some form of visitation with the child instead.
Types of visitation
As stated, visitation is not the same as custody. If a parent does not have physical custody of their child, they may receive supervised or unsupervised visitation to spend time with their child. Unsupervised visitation allows a parent to be with their child without a third party present to ensure the safety of the child; a third party is needed when supervised visitation is ordered.
Visitation can be scheduled or ordered to be reasonable based on the parties and their kids. It is intended to help parents and kids maintain their relationships after divorces. When parents have concerns and questions about visitation and custody, they can direct them to their trusted family law attorneys.