There are a lot of issues that come up during and after divorce. For divorcing parents, living in Massachusetts or elsewhere, determining adequate parenting time can certainly be a challenge. Concerns about custody and/or visitation schedules may not be easily solved, but understanding the difference between custody and visitation rights can help couples come to agreements about what type of arrangement will work best for their families.
Child custody comes in many forms. The common forms of custody include full custody, joint custody, physical custody and legal custody. While many couples try to arrange a joint-custody agreement that will allow both parents equal time with their children, some circumstances simply do not allow for that. When one parent is granted full custody, the non-custodial parent can seek visitation time.
Visitation time is just what is sounds like. It is set time for the non-custodial parent to spend with his or her children. In cases in which physical custody is awarded to only one parent, children will not live with the parent who is granted visitation, and that parent does not, generally, have the right to make major decisions about the well-being of his or her children, unless the parents have joint legal custody.
Every family situation is different, and custody or visitation needs will vary greatly based upon each family's unique circumstances. While determining parenting time is not an easy task for parents in Massachusetts or elsewhere, it is possible to come to terms that keep the best interests of the children at heart and allow each parent the time he or she needs to maintain a strong bond with his or her children. Assistance in sorting out this delicate matter is available and can help ensure the final arrangement is satisfactory for everyone involved.
Source: womenslaw.org, "What is the difference between custody and visitation", Accessed on Feb. 4, 2015