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Custody won’t be shared, so what should I know about visitation?

While more family courts are trying to apply shared custody laws to divorce cases in Florida, there are those cases involving children in which shared custody is not a healthy option. Maybe one parent is completely unfit to be a parent; maybe one parent doesn’t want custody of the kids.

Even if a parent doesn’t have any legal kind of custody of the children, they very often will be owed some amount of visitation. Visitation rights can be a parent’s only time to connect with their kids. Those rights can be important to protect. It is equally important for the custodial parent to respect one’s visitation rights as it is for the non-custodial parent to follow the visitation rules.

The visitation rules for one family may differ greatly compared to another family’s custody and visitation arrangement. Differences will largely depend on the parents’ level of cooperation with each other and the non-custodial parent’s behavior or background.

A “reasonable visitation” arrangement implies that parents get along relatively well. The level of trust and communication is such that a court trusts visitation schedules will be healthily arranged and respected by both parents.

If you don’t believe this is a realistic option for you and your ex, there is another visitation setup.

A “fixed visitation” arrangement is for those families with poorer communication and perhaps a more volatile relationship. Specific rules would be stipulated such as which days, times of the week/month and where the non-custodial parent could visit the children. These rules aren’t suggestions; they are legal limits set in order to be followed. This is most important for the custodial parent to remember due to what can be a common temptation to keep the kids from seeing a parent that they don’t get along with or trust completely.

There would be extreme cases in which a court would agree that one or even both parents should not have rights to their children, including visitation rights. All family law courts handling cases involving children prioritize the well-being of the kids. You need to be candid with your trusted divorce lawyer about what you know is best for your kids and work for the future you and they deserve.

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Sparkman Law Firm
313 South Bungalow Park Avenue
Tampa, FL 33609
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Phone: 813-374-2000
Fax: 813-374-2031
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313 South Bungalow Park Avenue