We Can Help Establish Child Visitation That Works for Your Family.
When a South Carolina Family Court approves a parenting plan, it will ensure that the plan allows for child visitation for the non-custodial parent. The parenting plan contains details of when the child will spend time with each parent, and the restrictions that will be in place during that time. The terms related to visitation are very important, as the prevent disagreements between parents and allow both parents to be involved in the child’s life.
Rights and Restrictions
The court will generally award visitation to a non-custodial parent unless there is some risk to the health and safety of the child. In cases where there is evidence of domestic violence, drug use, or other unfitness, there may still be some restricted visitation awarded to the non-custodial parent, as long as the child will be safe during that time. This can be accomplished by allowing the non-custodial parent to have supervised visitation, or visitation that is during daytime hours only.
Visitation dates and times can be altered if the parents agree, but generally the plan outlined in the court approved child visitation agreement must be followed. Once there is an order outlining the non-custodial parent’s visitation rights, the custodial parent cannot restrict the non-custodial parent’s visitation with the child. If visitation rights are withheld, then a court may order extra visitation time to make up the lost days or even award the non-custodial parent custody of the child.
Child Visitation Schedules
In South Carolina, there is no “standard” visitation schedule. However, unless a parent is unfit, he or she can expect to spend time with their child at least every other weekend and for a few hours on a school day in between, as well as for several weeks during the summer months and time for holidays.
However, it is common for additional time to be awarded that expands this ‘standard’ visitation schedule if the non-custodial parent is active in the life of the child.
As more couples consider joint custody, many other possible parenting schedules have been implemented. For example, some children may spend one week with their Mom, and then spend the next week with their Dad. Others may spend every school night with one parent, and then spend every weekend night with the other parent.
Visitation is not only physical but also includes telephone and electronic communication between the non-custodial parent and child at reasonable hours. Almost all parenting plans now provide for this kind of communication between each parent and the child.
The more that parents can cooperate in working out custody and visitation arrangements, the better it is for the child. You will want to avoid litigation on these issues if possible as it can be costly and time consuming, and have a negative impact on future interactions.
Dell Family Law can represent you in developing child visitation arrangements that are fair and prioritize the best interest of your child. Please contact us so that we can discuss the visitation schedules that might be appropriate.