Visitation, referred to as “parental access” in some New York courts now, means that even though the child lives with one parent, the child still gets to spend time with the other parent.  Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, a non-custodial parent has the right to reasonable visitation with the child. A common visitation agreement could be that the non-custodial parent has visits with the child every other weekend, two weeks in the summer and on alternating holidays.

A child visitation case may be commenced in Family Court, where there is no divorce action pending, or in Supreme Court if there is a contested divorce pending.  Visitation may be awarded in situations where joint legal custody or sole custody has been determined by a court. The child usually must have been a resident of New York for a period of six months. A grandparent or sibling may petition for visitation and in some circumstances a non-relative. The court looks at “the best interest of the child” when determining to whom visitation should be granted and what extent of visitation they receive.

In most cases, the court encourages parents to work out their own schedule.   If the parents are unable to do so, the court will devise its own schedule with the assistance of a court appointed attorney for the child, and in some cases, with the help of court appointed therapists, social workers and psychologists. The schedule can range from a few hours a week to a couple weekends a month, holidays and summer vacations, depending on several factors including the child’s age. When there is an extreme circumstance like a history of substance abuse or domestic violence, the court may restrict visitation in the form of supervised visits, or therapeutic visits.

You deserve to see your children.  A Long Island Visitation Lawyer can help!
The attorneys at Jacoby & Jacoby will answer all of your visitation questions and try to get you closer to spending time with your kids.   We can help you with modifications to your visitation schedule, in the event that one parent needs to relocate. Call one of our four convenient Long Island locations or contact us online for a free consultation.

Medford, NY: 631-289-4600
Miller Place, NY: 631-821-8800
Shirley, NY: 631-281-2234
Nassau County, NY: 888-452-2629

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