What are visitation rights?
Visitation rights are the rights of parents, grandparents and other individuals to visit their children or grandchildren. There are different laws pertaining to visitation rights in each state in the union. Problems with visitation rights occur most frequently when a child is the product of a divorce and the father of the child, or the grandparents, seek visitation rights against the wishes of the mother. Issues involving visitation rights also come up when the parents of the child were never married and the father, or grandparents, seek visitation.
Visitation rights lawyers are commonly used in the instance of a father, or someone claiming to be the father, is seeking visitation rights with the child. When the child is a product of a divorced couple the parents, upon the dissolution of their marriage, will normally enter into a “parenting agreement.” The parenting agreement will set out the terms of custody and visitation rights. Visitation rights lawyers can be helpful in the drafting of these agreements so that both parents are satisfied with their custody and visitation rights. When a divorce is contentious and there is a custody/visitation dispute the court may order a “parenting agreement” and often will require some kind of mediation in the process.
Individuals who are the alleged father’s of a child who are seeking visitation rights should get a child visitation lawyer. The first step to getting visitation rights when someone is the father of a child through wed-lock he will have to prove parentage through a paternity test. When a child is born out of wedlock the court will almost always award sole custody to the mother of the child. Someone claiming to be the father, through his child visitation lawyers, will have to prove paternity in a family court and then show that visitation rights will be in the best interest of the child.
The other big issue where a visitation rights lawyer should be retained is when “grandparent’s rights” are involved. Grandparent’s rights are are the right of a grandparent of a child to visit their grandchild. Grandparent’s rights are recognized in all 50 states but the extent of those rights is divided into two camps. There are those states that have “permissive rights”, those states give grandparent’s the right to visit their grandchildren if it is in the “best interests of the child.” Since most courts look at having a relationship with a grandparent as being beneficial to a child, grandparent’s rights will often be upheld.
The other states use “restrictive rights.” In these situations, when a parent refuses visitation rights to the grandparents it is often a good idea to retain a visitation rights lawyer. In these cases a court will only require visitation rights to a grandparent if the parents are divorced or deceased.
Why do I need a visitation rights lawyer?
You could need a visitation rights lawyer for a number of reasons dealing with the custody or right to visitation rights with your child or grandchild. Visitation rights lawyers can help prove that the right for you to see your child or grandchild is in the best interest of the child, despite contentions by the mother that you are unfit to see the child.
Child visitation rights lawyers will also be helpful when the mother is disputing paternity. The visitation rights lawyer will be able help you get paternity tests and gather evidence that, even if you are not the biological father, you put yourself out as the father during the child’s life and that to deny visitation rights with the child would not be in the best interests of the child.
Child visitation rights lawyers are also beneficial in dealing with accusations of abusing visitation rights. If you have been accused of not following the parenting agreement or “kidnapping” your child then a visitation rights lawyer will be necessary to help defend yourself against such accusations that could lead to loss of all custody and visitation rights.
Child visitation rights lawyers are also good for helping with the technicalities associated with visit rights. If you are moving to another state or you are a third party looking for visitation rights than visitation rights lawyers can argue in your favor and help you redraft parental agreements.
Qualifications & Experience
When you are looking for child visitation lawyers you want to find a visitation rights lawyer who is experienced and will represent you and your right to have visitation with your child or grandchild.
Where experience is concerned, you want a child visitation rights lawyer who has extensive experience litigating in family court. Family court is very different than litigation in traditional civil courts. You will want to make sure that your visitation rights lawyer devotes at least 75% of his, or her, time devoted to family court issues, specifically visitation rights issues.
Your child visitation rights lawyer should be a graduate of an accredited law school in the United States and be barred in the state where your visitation rights will be at issue. The visitation rights lawyers who represent you should also be in good standing and not have any disciplinary action taken against them, or pending.
Rates & Fees
Child visitation lawyers will cost you money, but often those costs will depend on the extent of the visitation rights at issue. For simple matters that can be resolved easily a visitation rights lawyer may charge you a, one time, flat fee. If the matter resolves extensive time doing legal research, investigations, and court appearances the visitation rights lawyer may charge $100 -$450 an hour depending on the location of the litigation, the experience of the child visitation lawyer and whether they are specialized.
In many cases a visitation rights lawyer may be completely unnecessary. Courts will often require that divorcing parents negotiate a “parental rights agreement.” If matters are contentious between the divorcing parents you may want to seek a mediator rather than a visitation rights lawyer. Mediators are experts at negotiation and alternate dispute resolution and their services will be much cheaper than retaining a visitation rights lawyer to negotiate a “parental rights agreement.”