While the right of parents and children to have access to each other is given a high priority by the courts, visitation rights can still be challenged by the parent with physical custody of the child. Whether you are seeking visitation or attempting to prevent it, a skilled family law attorney is needed to correctly and persuasively present your case. Sometimes, the custodial parent does have a real issue with unsupervised visitation — the other parent may be unfamiliar with taking care of a very young child on their own, or substance abuse may even be an issue. Sometimes, the attempt to limit or withhold visitation by a custodial parent is a “control” issue — in which one parent tries to gain what they see as a power advantage by attempting to control the other parent’s access to their children. Either way, visitation rights have to receive a high priority, as continued parental animosity over these matters can be the cause of real emotional damage to children.
Even where the task is only to create a visitation schedule, an experienced family law attorney is able to draw on his or her experience to create, when necessary, customized schedules to meet the needs of both parent and the child — for instance, when a non-custodial parent’s work schedule is irregular, such as in the case of a police officer or nurse. Your attorney must be experienced enough to be able to assist you in developing what are sometimes complex solutions to visitation rights, and to assist both parents in finding ways to avoid conflict that involves their children.
Perhaps the most unsettling legal actions regarding visitation rights involve grandparents. While the United States Supreme Court basically did away with grandparents’ rights several years ago, New York State has gotten around that ruling by putting grandparent visitation matters under the general heading of “best interests of the child,” and the courts here continue to hear these cases. Our firm has handled quite a few cases in this area, both for grandparents seeking visitation with grandchildren and for parents seeking to end such visitation. As you can imagine, this type of litigation is fraught with intense emotions on both sides. A accomplished Family Law Attorney can often find solutions that keep families out of what can be emotionally exhausting litigation by crafting solutions that keep families communicating.