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What does the court consider when deciding on visitation rights?

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2022 | Firm News

Divorce can be difficult for children. In a Louisiana family law case, it is important to focus on their needs. Part of that is to consider how to facilitate a relationship with both parents and other family members who were in their lives before the divorce proceeding got underway.

From the outset, parents and others who have an interest in the child’s welfare should have a basic understanding of the law regarding visitation rights. The child’s best interests will be referenced repeatedly as the case proceeds and it is crucial to be aware of what that means.

Key aspects of visitation

The court will only grant custody and visitation if it serves the child’s best interests. Along with the parents, other people can be granted visitation when the parents are not married, live with a person as if they are married to them or if a divorce filing has been made. This includes grandparents.

Since some families have issues that warrant family members keeping a close watch on the child, it can extend to blood relatives, step-parents or step-grandparents in what the court calls “extraordinary circumstances.” That may involve parental substance abuse.

Regarding best interests, the court will look at specific factors such as the parents’ rights to make decisions for the child and oversee their care, control and custody. The priority is to ensure the parent will act based on the child’s well-being.

It will also assess the child’s previous relationship with the parent and other relatives and how long it lasted. If, for example, they did not have a relationship because the parent or relative was not present in the child’s life, it might not be viewed as being in the child’s best interests to allow visitation.

Children require guidance and care and the court will decide if the parent or relative can provide it. The parents’ and child’s mental and physical health will be evaluated. The child can express their preference if they are of age and, in the view of the court, have the maturity to do so.

Experienced legal guidance can help with getting fair child visitation

Child custody and visitation can be a complex area of the law. The emotional aspect can make it even more difficult. From the start, it is essential for the parents to focus on the child’s best interests.

There is no doubt that custody and visitation can be worrisome as part of a family law case. It is wise to bear in mind that the child’s needs must come first. From the start of a case, professional assistance can be a key part of reaching a positive result.