Child Custody and Visitation 17

How Time With Your Child(ren) is Decided in a Divorce

One of the biggest and often most difficult issues in a divorce is the custody of a child. The court makes the judgment based on what it believes will be in the best interest of the child, regardless of whether the parents agree with the decision.

That’s not to say that the court doesn’t consider the parents’ opinions – quite the contrary. The courts will consider a variety of factors when making this decision, including the child’s age and gender, the parents’ ability to care for the child, the parents’ lifestyles and work schedules, the financial situation of both parents and of course, what arrangement would cause the least disruption to the child. The courts also often allow the child to express his or her own opinion after a certain age and will take this request into consideration as well.

In general, there are two types of custody:

  • Physical Custody – the child actually resides in your home
  • Legal Custody – you have the right to make decisions regarding education, medical care and other important factors that affect the child’s life

Each of these two types of custody can be awarded jointly, meaning equally shared by both parents, or as sole custody, meaning one parent has the right and the other does not. [read more…]


Visitation, the right of a non-custodial parent to have contact with his or her child, is a concept that you will often hear in the same sentence as custody. Visitation rights have come a long way from the traditional occasional weekend and a week in the summer. Today, courts look favorably on allowing both parents to play an active role in the child’s life and try to create a visitation schedule that will be most beneficial to the child.


  • harliann seng

    im 14 years old and i cant live with my dad anymore..he have full custody of me but i want to move in with my mom.can i just leave my dads house and go to my moms and he cant do anything about it?

  • Cass

    Hello, I have a couple of questions. My boyfriend of six years has a child with another woman. The child is 10 years old. He has been with my boyfriend his whole life. In 2006, before our son was born the mother wanted to change his last name. On the paper she stated that it was for insurance purposes and assured my boyfriend that she wouldn’t get him for child support.
    A couple of days ago she said she would be filing for child support and stated that he gave up his parental rights when he signed the name change paper. Which he did not sign. Also, she has had my step-son for the total of a year out of his life. The Department of Social Services even wrote her up for Medical child abuse twice. What could we do to get my step son? How would we go about using the information towards this case?

  • angie

    My daughter is a very mature 10yro. For the past 3 years everytime she comes home from her fathers she is in tears, begs me not to make her go back. I’ve recorded this DOZENS of times. Many instances of neglect…he’s given her medicine that is expired and not part of her asthma action plan, refused her to use inhaler while amidst an asthma attack stating she’s being rude and dramatic because she doesn’t want to play (with others). He absolutely WILL NOT communicate with me AT ALL regarding her and in the event that I do get him on the phone (5-6 times in 4 years) to discuss something with him, he is enraged, volitale, impossible to communicate with. He will tell her to tell me this and that or that he’s not going to talk to me….and it is only issues regarding HER. She should NOT be the mediator or messenger btwn he and i. He berrates my daughter with questions until she gives him the answer he is looking for. He talks bad about me in front of her to his mother and she comes home upset. I purchased and pay for a cell phone for her to use when she is with him to call me whenever and so i can make sure she is ok…he refuses her to use it. Yells at her if she does. This past time she was texting me from the bathroom telling me how uncomfortable she was and just wanted to come home. I offer to come get her and she says very adamantly, “NO! dad will beat me or yell at me or something bad”. I dont want him mad at me. She NEVER has a voice or defense with him and tells me all the time how scared she is of him.

    Please, someone tell me what my options are?? I’ve done alot of research but uncertain which direction to go. It is ripping my heart out of my chest knowing how much she fears and does not want to go. She asked me if SHE could talk to someone and tell them to change the visitation.

    Pleaaasseee help! Thank you so much!

  • frustrated

    we have court orders for visitation of our daughter. he suppose to get her everyweekend. he lives in modesto. he wanted everyweekend. but he has not made any effort not one time since our court date march tenth and eleventh to come pick her up on his court orderd time. im frustrated because after eleven years he didnt care to make to much contact with her. i have never denied or never did i give him drama to visit w my daughter. i actually more than happy to let him get her when he wanted,. but when he got served to pay child support six hundred a month he came down ( he lives in modesto) without telling me he filed for custody saying he had no contact with me which is stupid cuz he had picked up my daughter from school the day before made all these lies about me didnt tell me i had to go to court and i lost temp. custody. he agreed to leave her with me because the tramatic move and taking a child from her life school for eleven years can be dramatic. when we went to court he told the judge i hid her from him… being tht he lied the cops three different ones did not release her to him becUZ COURT ORDERs looked tampered with. but ne way after all that drama he caused for my daughter how hard it was on her to have to go thru that when he was able to see her whenevr he waNTED i fought in court now that things are on paper he hasnt even made an attempt to come on his weekends not once since march 11,2011. he only wanted fifty fifty to lower his child support. wat do i do to take him to court and give him the right visitation that is suitable for and in the best interest of my daughter being that he lives six and half hours away.. should i take him back to court sooner than the scheduled court date?

  • Dady05

    My son whats to Move out of state to better his life by going to school and getting ahead financially. He has written a legal letter of notice to the non-custodial parent. She is not happy and says she will take it to court. If she decides to take it to court does my son have to wait on the move until the decision is made.

  • Alex Morton

    My father has just separated with his wife and he is the non custodial parent of my siblings and I was wondering how many calls the custodial parent is allowed during visitation.

  • Rach
  • Rach

    My boyfriend has had sole physical custody of his two children for the past four years. Up until last October everything was fine, they had their own agreement on when she would get the kids, so and so forth. Then she applied for Joint custody and it was granted in July. The courts agreed she would get tues/thur afternoons for three hours and the first three weekends of every month. Now, just the other day, she asked if it were possible if she could have the kids every other weekend instead of the first three (ultimately giving up the extra weekend- the extra time she fought so hard for).. she originally had tues/thurs afternoons for a couple hours and every other weekend. I advised my boyfriend to not so it and take her back to court but seeing that we dont have the money for that right now, i advised him to get a written agreement signed by her so it doesnt come back to bite im in the butt. Any suggestions on where to begin with his agreement. I’m not sure what to write. Or does anyone have any advice they could give me on the matter (that would help me in writting this agreement)?? Any help would be tremendously appreciated….. help please?!!!!!

  • marcy

    My 11 year old lives with my ex husband who has domicile custody of him. He wants to come live with me, but his dad says no. Is there any way of getting him to live with me without dragging him thru court proceedings, that is just not an option for me

  • Pingback: Law 25: Custodial Interference | Baby Daddy Guru()

  • Rick Schraub

    I am divorced with 3 children. By court order I have visitation Teusday and Thursday nights and all day Sunday 11am – 7pm. My visitations are typically at my mom’s house so she can see the grand children. I have a history with alcohol so my wife is refusing my visitations in March as my mother will not be there to “supervise” – no supervision is required via our divorse agreement nor by court order. I currently wear a Scram braclete which detects any alcohol in my system and would be reported to my ex-wife immediately (I put it on voluntarily to put her mind at ease – not court order) I will have it on all of March and April and as for my first visitation in March I will be over 2 months without alcohol. Additionally, I am required to a breath test in order to drive the kids…my ex-wife owns one and I’m happy to do it (I told her so and its court ordered). The court order states that if she keeps me from my court ordered visitaions she is subject to a class D Felony and I will persue that agressively – I don’t know what to do or how to go about it. Through our divorce I have filed court papers on my own (no councel) but don’t have a clue what to file or how to handle – HELP!

  • sue

    my ex got re married and moved to Virginia from Maryland approx 4 hrs away. He gets the 2 children every other weekend. I used to pick them up on Sunday at5:30 3 miles away. Now he wants me to drive to VA, or at least half way which would be at least 2 hrs each way. Should I be expected to do this ? What can I do to stop it from happening?

  • A very worried Mother/Nana

    My daughter, her husband & 2 children moved from Florida to NC about 5 months ago because he had a job lined up there, the initial job fell through but he has since found another job and they have rented an apt. The husband has become emotionally & verbally abusive towards my daughter. She wants to come back to Florida with the children to her family but the husband threatens her that if she leaves he will have her arrested and/or he will take custody of the kids. She is scared that he is going to become physically abusive as he has threatened several times to “beat her a** ” … Their driver license & vehicle tags are still registered in Florida and have not put in a change of address in Florida to NC … so my question is … Can she leave NC with the kids and come home to Florida without legal repercussions or can he stop her from leaving NC. She has nobody in NC, no family, no friends just his mother & mothers boyfriend who have told my daughter that they do not like her … I am very worried for my daughters safety and don’t know how to advise her. My initial reaction is to go up there and load her & the kids up and bring them to safety but do not want legal repercussions on her. Any advise will be greatly appreciated!

  • sylvia

    I am a grandmother of a 6 year old boy who is living with his father right now in CO. When my daughter had custody of him my husband and i were the caregivers for him for at least 4 years of his life. She was investagated by CPS and took to court and now the child is in states care, but physical custody of his father. I was told by a circuit court judge that I was to have visitation to my grandson, I was calling him 2 times a week for a month and when school started the father told me that the calling schedule had changed because of football practice and games and I was to contact the CPS worker for the schedule. Well it has been a month and no one will return my calls, and the father won’t give me a schedule for me to call, so I contacted the circuit clerks office to file a contempt of court paper and was told to just write a letter to the judge handleing the case, so i did and it has been 3 weeks and no response. So what I need to know what papers do I actually need to file to get my visitation back for my grandson? Where do I look for these papers, and if someone could point me in the right direction on what to do I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

  • courtney

    my daughter is almost 7 months old and her father has had nothing to do with her for the last 4 months, since i moved out. I still send textes on a regular basis updating him on whts new with her and pics on a regular basis so he can still see how shes growing, i never get any acknoledgement back from him.i save every text, email or message. Ive done everything but get on my hands and knees begging him to have anything at all to do with her and try to get him to see how awesome she is but nothing. he now just texted me and said he will be here friday to pick her up and bring her bck sunday. She doesnt no him, and he doesnt no anything about her. I want him to see her but i think he needs to starts coming around and get to no her first and let her no him before he takes her for the weekend, and he lives 3 hrs from me, granted has come down many times now on weekends for other reason but never saw her while he was here. He is on her birth certificate so Can he legally just come pick her up and keep her for the weekend?

  • T. R. Pugel

    I am a combat veteran. I separated from the mother of my 2 boys about 5 months ago. Since then she has constantly been harassing me. I feel she is trying to disregard my basic fathers rights. I can only talk to my kids on the phone if I put uo with her harassment, and I can only see my kids on her terms. I live in Indiana, they live in Kentucky. I can no afford a family law attorney. KY legal services wont help me because I live in Indiana, while Indiana legal services wont help me because its a KY case. I am at the end of my rope and I need help and fast. She has also been threatening to use my diagnosed PTSD and Depression from military service against me to keep me from my rights as a father.

  • Jeppe

    My wife ran away with my son who is just 8. The police told me that they are safe and sound but I want to see my son… what should I do?