A child’s best interests drives how a court will set up custody and visitation for them during their parents’ divorce proceedings. As Massachusetts children can have varying needs and requirements, it is impossible for courts to apply one-size-fits-all approaches to their custodial and visitation orders. Courts evaluate many factors to decide how best to manage the relationships of parents and kids during and after divorces.
To understand how visitation may be evaluated and decided in a specific family law case, a reader should speak with their trusted divorce attorney. This post does not give any legal advice. Its contents are informative and may be used by readers as a starting point for learning about the topic.
What is visitation?
Visitation is often a piece of a child custody plan. When a parent has custody of their child, it means that they have parental rights to have their child live with them, to make decisions about their care, or both. When a parent does not have the right to have their child live with them, they may be granted visitation rights.
Visitation is time that a parent can spend with their child. It can be scheduled and regular and of varying durations. In some cases, a parent may be required to have supervised visitation with their child. Whether visitation is supervised or unsupervised, scheduled or unscheduled, will depend on factors related to the parents and the children.
Important visitation factors
A court must look at the complete picture of a family’s dynamics to set up a visitation schedule that will serve a child’s best interests. It may evaluate the following factors:
- The child’s and parents’ schedules
- The physical needs of the child
- Claims or history of abuse between a parent and child
- The relocation of the parent or child
This list is not comprehensive. To best understand how visitation and custody matters may be handled in one’s own divorce, consultation with a divorce and family law attorney in Worcester can be useful.