Visitation in Divorce and Paternity Cases

Many people want to know how visitation is determined in a typical child custody case.

“Typical” 80/20 Visitation

No divorce is “typical.” But an ordinary divorce decree might give both parents Joint Legal and Joint Physical Custody with primary custody to mom and significant visitation to dad. In this case, mom would have the kids during the week, and every other weekend, dad would take the children. Dad would also spend Wednesday nights from 5:00 to 9:00 with the children.



The parents would alternate holidays. Mom might have Thanksgiving in even years and Christmas in odd years. There might be special orders about the kids being with mom on Mother’s Day on her birthday and with dad on Father’s Day and his birthday.

The parents could each have a two-week vacation which would be uninterrupted by visitation by the other party so that they could travel with the children.

Both parties would have the right to a daily 15-minute phone call with the children when they were in the other’s care. Both parties would be able to show up at sporting events when the children were playing.

You Don’t Have to Have Typical Visitation

As I said, though, no divorce is typical. By law, dad has every right to be the primary custodian. Some parents decide a 50/50 timeshare works best for them with the child spending every other week with them.

Other times, visitation is much more restricted than the scenario described above. If Supervised Visitation is ordered, then a monitor must be present throughout the visit. Sometimes the monitor is a family member or friend of the non-custodial parent. Other times, the Judge orders that a professional monitor is present and paid for.

Then there are the cases where no visitation is ordered. In these cases, the Judge decides that any contact with the parent would be physically or emotionally harmful to the child.  These cases are extremely rare and usually happen only when there has been extreme abuse.

What works best for your family? If you can work out visitation between the two of you, you will probably reach the best solution for all concerned.  Otherwise, you will have to go to court and then the Judge will decide.

If you want to talk to a family law attorney about child custody and visitation, contact me at 877-369-5294 to set up an appointment today.