contact usWESTCHESTER FAMILY LAW LAWYER ANSWERS:
WHAT IS VISITATION? DO PARENTS HAVE A RIGHT TO VISITATION?
When parents are separated or
divorced in Westchester County, NY, generally one parent will be designated the
"primary residential parent" or "custodial parent"
which means that the child or children will reside primarily with that parent.
The other parent, who does not reside with the child or children is known
as the "non-residential parent" or "non-custodial parent."
In most cases, that parent has the right to meaningful visitation with
and access with the child or children.
The determination of
visitation are very serious matters. If there is no agreement or settlement between
the parents, a hearing must take place before the Westchester Family Court
awards custody or visitation to either parent. During such a hearing the
Westchester Family Court is obligated to perform a "best interests"
analysis in order to determine whether a particular custody or visitation
scheme will serve the child or children's best interests.
New York Courts in Westchester County have consistently determined that
visitation is a right not only of the noncustodial parent, but also of
the child. Absent certain extraordinary circumstances, where it has been
shown that visitation would be detrimental to child's well-being,
a noncustodial parent seeking visitation has a right to reasonable access
TYPES OF CHILD VISITATION IN WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY
With this in mind, there are several types of visitation, any of which
may be ordered by a court based on the child's best interests, including
unsupervised visitation, supervised visitation and therapeutic visitation.
Unsupervised visitation means that there need not be any other people present
during the visit, the visit can occur at any reasonable place and time,
or during the time ordered by the court.
Supervised visitation may be appropriate for non-custodial parents and
their children when there is an indication or allegation of domestic abuse,
drug or alcohol abuse, emotional instability, sexual abuse, possibility
of abduction, or if there is an Order of Protection in place. In these
circumstances, the court may appoint or the parties may select a supervised
visitation specialist, or perhaps the parents can agree on a third party
who will be present during all visits.
Therapeutic visits are similar to supervised visits, except that a licensed
therapist is the person supervising the visit. The purpose of such visits
is to repair or prevent damage to the child-parent relationship. Generally,
they are designed to help parents better interact with their children.
A court may order a licensed therapist to supervise the visit or the parents
may agree to select a therapist. Often, such therapists may be covered
under one of the parents' health insurance policies and this option
should be fully explored.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED CHILD CUSTODY AND VISITATION LAWYER IN WESTCHESTER
With over 50 years of combined experience helping custodial and non-custodial
parents throughout the Westchester Family Courts in White Plains, New
Rochelle and Yonkers, NY, the
family law attorneys of Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP recognize the importance of the relationship between parents and children.
We will take the time to meet with you to learn the specifics of your
case, so that arguments in support of your position can be formulated
and those facts can be properly presented to the court which will be responsible
for making the ultimate decision regarding custody and visitation.
If you or someone you know has a child custody or visitation issue, or
may even already be involved in the Westchester Family Court or engaged
in a divorce in the Westchester Supreme Court, have them contact us immediately
for a free consultation.
Call (914) 840-5104.