West Chester Child Visitation Attorney Explains Your Options
Helping parents resolve child visitation disputes
After a divorce, maintaining a meaningful relationship with your children is a priority for each parent. But dividing parenting time can be challenging, particularly when the parents and children have busy schedules. If you are having problems creating or enforcing a child visitation agreement, experienced family law attorney Catherine H. Voit can help. With more than 25 years of experience, Catherine understands how to protect your rights as a parent while looking out for the best interests of your children.
Attorney helps you create a child visitation agreement
Pennsylvania law does not use the term “visitation” when referring to the noncustodial parent’s time with the children. Rather, the law uses the phrase “partial physical custody.”
During a divorce proceeding, parents should try to create their own parenting schedule. As parents, you best understand your child’s routine and needs. A mediator or family law attorney can help facilitate this process. So long as your visitation schedule is reasonable and serves the child’s best interests, the court is likely to approve the partial custody arrangement, and it will become an order of the court.
What a child visitation plan should include
In contested custody proceedings, the court may require the parents to submit proposed parenting plans to aid the court in resolving the dispute. A parenting plan must establish a schedule for the care and control of the child, including parenting time, holidays and vacations. Specific questions that should be addressed in the plan include:
- Which days and which times of day will the child be with each parent?
- Where and when will the child be dropped off and picked up?
- If one of parent doesn’t show up, how long will the other wait?
- If there are any extraordinary costs (taxi, train, airplane), who will pay for which costs?
- How will holidays be allocated between parents, including school vacations?
- How will the parents manage temporary changes to the visitation schedule?
- When the child is with one parent, how may the child contact the other parent?
- How will proposed changes, disputes or alleged breaches of the parenting plan and custody order be addressed — mediation or court action?
Pennsylvania’s child custody and relocation laws are designed to foster a child’s relationship with both parents. Accordingly, courts award noncustodial parents significant parenting time, unless it is not in the child’s best interests. If the court is concerned about the physical, mental or emotional health of your child, the judge may require “supervised physical custody.” Under this arrangement, an agency or an adult designated by the court or agreed on by the parties monitors the interaction between the child and the parent. Situations in which supervised visitation is ordered include when the parent has never spent an extended time with the child, needs to improve parenting skills or has a history of mental illness or substance abuse.
Whether you need assistance creating a child visitation agreement or enforcing an existing plan, Catherine H. Voit listens to your concerns and works with you to create a strategy that addresses your situation.
Trust your child custody case to an experienced West Chester lawyer
When facing divorce, parents are understandably concerned about continuing to spend time with their children. Catherine H. Voit provides honest and compassionate legal advice about your child visitation dispute. Call Catherine today at 484.881.3185 or contact her online to schedule your appointment.