A Brief Introduction About Child Visitation Agreements
Child visitation agreements are agreements that govern the right of a parent to see their child. Also referred to as child visitation schedules, these agreements are for both parents as well as the child in question. The agreements outline where the child currently lives to come up with the best-supervised visitation guidelines in case of the distance between the spouses. They also outline common activities that the child indulges in and how the parent seeking visitation rights can fit into them.
Finally, they list any geographic restrictions that the child may have. Child visitation agreements put into place terms that have been agreed to by both parents as well as the court. When everything is noted down, there is little to no confusion as to the responsibility of the parents. Everyone can come to an understanding.
Who Takes Child Visitation Agreements? – People Involved
Child visitation agreements are entered by parents who have separated from their spouse for any reason; these schedules ensure that you have visitation rights. These agreements can also be used when both parents have completely lost guardianship or physical custody of their child for a myriad of reasons. The parents themselves can write the agreements. However, if the parents cannot agree, then the judge steps in and makes the final decision about the visitation schedule.
Both parents have to agree to the set terms so that the child visitation schedules can run smoothly. Other parties that are involved in these agreements include step-parents, grandparents, and adoptive parents (if any).
Purpose of Child Visitation Agreements- Why Do You Need It?
The purpose of child visitation agreements is to determine how a parent or guardian can have access to or spend time with their child. The rules and regulations of these agreements are put down in writing. The agreements provide a specific framework that legally binds the parents.
The agreement protects the interests of both parties in case of any violations. The agreements are also helping in outlining visitation time schedules and offer extra information on parenting. They remind the parents or guardians that they have equal rights to the child as the child belongs to both of them.
Visitation rights are meant to encourage the parents to work together to give the child the parenting that they deserve. Additionally, the agreements provide remedies to ensure that both parties have rights that are equally protected. The agreements also make both parties aware of how visitation rights would be breached.
Contents of Child Visitation Agreements
Child visitation agreements include:
- Type of agreement: While most parents can visit their children freely, parents or guardians who may be suffering from substance abuse or those who have any ongoing legal situations often need to adhere to supervised visitation guidelines. If no concerns are raised, then the parent can visit their child freely, without any supervision.
- Details of the visitation schedule: This is a detailed guide on visitation rules, regulations, days, dates, and other information that is pertinent to the visitation of the child.
Other details that are included are any geographical restrictions and options for modifying the agreement.
How to Draft Child Visitation Agreements?
Points to Consider While Preparing the Agreement
Before drafting child visitation agreements, both parties must come together and clearly understand all of the jurisdiction guidelines. This is the only way to ensure that there is no confusion. Afterward, both parents are required to draft their visitation rights agreement then present it before a judge.
Herein, the court can accept the agreements that the parties put forward or reject them and ask for revisions. The agreement should outline the visitation schedules and all other relevant information that relates to seeing the child. Any important issues should be ironed out by the parents before the presentation of the document.
The negotiation strategy to follow is to ensure that the terms and clauses in the agreements equally favor both parties. Terms should favor both parties. The parents must feel like they both have equal rights to the child. No parent should deprive the other of their rights to see the child.
[ Also Read: Joint Custody Agreement ]
Benefits and Drawbacks of Child Visitation Agreements
The following are the benefits and drawbacks of child visitation agreements:
- The child can form a relationship with both parents. This brings about normalcy. Usually, children are known to cope better and feel better with separation if they can see both their parents regularly.
- Parents can maintain a consistent relationship with their children. This is an essential aspect of parenting as it makes it possible for parents to make contributions in their child’s life.
- The child may be required to move from house to house depending on their child visitation schedule. This may create a sense of insecurity and inconsistency within the child. They will not necessarily know why it is important to stay in a single place.
What Happens in Case of Violation?
All child visitation agreements provide consequences for any breach that may occur. These actions are laid out in the agreements. They affect both of the parents. During the drafting of the child custody visitation schedules, options for arbitration are always included, so things do not get out of hand.
In conclusion, child visitation agreements are agreements entered by non-custodial parents(1) who are looking to spend time with their child. These agreements are not only meant for the biological parents of a child. They can be extended to guardians, adoptive parents, and even grandparents or extended family members.
[ Also Read: Temporary Guardianship Agreement ]