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Hudson Valley Child Visitation Laws

Child visitation rights refer to the provision that one parent is granted to spend time with his or her child. Visitation is an aspect of divorce law that can often be filled with emotion and angst because the care of the minor is of primary importance to both parents. As one of the most contested issues in any family law case, you should retain the services of our Hudson Valley divorce attorneys at your earliest convenience. We encourage you to schedule a complimentary case evaluation to best assist you through this process.

Types of Visitation Under New York Law

Visitation rights, also called "parenting time" or "parental access" in New York, are often granted to the noncustodial parent in a divorce proceeding. If granted visitation rights by the New York family courts, a visitation schedule will be created that specifies when the noncustodial parent is permitted time with the child. Several different forms of visitation can be granted to reflect the ability of the noncustodial parent to visit his or her child. The three types of visitation include: unsupervised visitation, supervised visitation, and therapeutic supervised visitation.

If unsupervised visitation is deemed dangerous to the child, supervised visitation may be ordered. This may be ordered based on the presence of extraordinary circumstances that show that visitation would be detrimental to the well-being of the child. Supervision can also be conducted by a quasi-government agency or by another family member. In time, the parent with supervised visitation may be allowed unsupervised visits. Therapeutic supervised visitation is designed to help the court gain a better understanding of the noncustodial parent's behavior during visitation sessions.

Enforcement of Visitation Rights

If either party has taken actions to disregard the visitation agreement, the court can get involved to ensure that the visitation order is enforced. If the custodial parent interferes with the ability of the noncustodial parent to see his or her child during scheduled visitation hours, then the noncustodial parent can file a petition for enforcement of a visitation order. Legal action can also be taken if the noncustodial parent has violated the visitation arrangement. The parent bringing about the court action should be prepared to testify with information regarding specific interferences. At that point, a hearing will be held, which may result in a circumstantial change to the visitation order, the imposition of sanctions, or a fine against the offending party.

Visitation rights can be suspended if exceptional circumstances are presented. In such cases, it must be proven that the child would be placed in danger if visits were to continue. Both parties should ensure that the visits are able to continue in the manner ordered by the court. If you are in need of a modification of visitation rights, speak with a lawyer from our firm at once. We have over 50 years of combined experience and can assist you through each step of your case.

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