The right to spend time with a child is central to every parent’s life. Even if a court awards sole physical custody to one parent, the other may still maintain their role in their child’s upbringing. This kind of arrangement involves establishing a visitation schedule.
For many parents, visitation will include unsupervised visits on a regular basis. However, if a parent has a history of family violence or domestic abuse, a local court may order supervised visits with a family member or licensed social worker.
An Alpharetta visitation lawyer can help you exercise your rights to see your children. One of our child custody attorneys can also work to prove that your child’s other parent has placed them in danger and should not be allowed to have unsupervised contact. In either case, we can help convince a local family law judge that your suggestion for visitation is in the best interests of your child.
Whenever two parents do not live together, either as a result of divorce or never being married, family courts must make arrangements for child custody. The tribunal typically prefers to keep both parents involved in their child’s life and to respect the rights of both parents to raise their child.
In fact, Official Code of Georgia Annotated §19-9-3 states that both of a child’s parents – regardless of gender – have the same rights to visitation. However, courts must make a parenting schedule that is in the best interests of a child.
It is possible that a family law judge may award sole physical custody to one parent if the other is unable to financially or emotionally support the child or if there have been instances of family abuse. Usually, the court will still grant the non-custodial parent visitation, unless there is evidence that doing so would not be in the child’s best interests.
Any visitation plan that an Alpharetta family court creates requires a parent to collect their child and return them in adherence with the schedule. Failure of the visiting parent to exercise his or her full rights to visitation with the children can have adverse effects on their relationship and make the parent vulnerable to a demand for increased child support. On the other hand, a parent with primary physical custody cannot withhold visitation from the child’s other parent.
Some visitation plans allow for unsupervised visitation, which means that the parent comes to pick up the child from the home and is free to do what they wish until it is time to return the child to the custodial home. Other cases require supervised visitation in the presence of a family member or a social worker.
Supervised visitation is usually ordered in situations where the parent has a history of committing abuse or may be prone to violence against the child. Under O.C.G.A. §19-9-7, judges in family court have broad discretion to limit visitation when a parent in question has committed family violence. An Alpharetta attorney can provide more information about the forms of visitation that a court may grant to a non-custodial parent.
Under state law, both parents of a child have an equal opportunity to retain custody over the child in cases of divorce or separation. However, courts also have broad powers to decide what is in the best interests of a child.
In the event that a judge awards sole physical custody to your child’s other parent, an Alpharetta visitation lawyer can help you assert your rights to visit your child. Reach out to our intake team today to begin working toward a visitation plan that is best for your child.