Bronx Child Visitation Lawyer

Divorce is difficult, particularly when the couple have children. When a couple is not awarded joint legal custody, the judge will issue an order for a very specific visitation schedule for the noncustodial party. The court will want to do all it can to ensure that the child maintains a good and vibrant relationship with both parents. If you and your spouse can work out the details of visitation, that’s for the better, because if you don’t, the court will do it for you. But either way, to protect your interests and do the best for your child, you should consult with an experienced Bronx child visitation lawyer.

It is important to understand the difference between physical and legal custody before we enter a discussion about visitation. Just because parents might share legal custody does not necessarily mean they also share physical custody. Legal custody is the authority to make important decisions for the child such as whether or not they undergo a medical procedure or where they go to school. Physical custody relates to where the child lives, whether a parent lives in the Bronx or elsewhere. Some parents have joint custody where the child spends equal time with both. This has an advantage for the child’s ability to build strong relationships with both parents. But depending upon where the parents live and other factors, it could potentially have an adverse impact on the child’s relationship with friends and community, and could make the child feel as though they are somewhat rootless. Certainly this is not always the case, but a court will look at the individual situation and the arguments your attorney and your spouse’s attorney put before it.

In many cases, one spouse has physical custody, and the other has visitation rights. This may seem simple, but it can sometimes be very difficult for parties to agree where a child goes for Christmas vs. Thanksgiving as just one example. A noncustodial parent may want to see the child throughout the week, and a custodial parent may be afraid of disrupting the child’s routine with such frequent visits. But the court will want to see both parents play an active and continuing role in the child’s life. A good Bronx child visitation lawyer is experienced potential stumbling blocks in visitation schedules. They can advise you about what would constitute a workable visitation schedule as well as any child support issues.

How Child Visitation is Ordered

When the court hands down its custody order, it will also hand down a child visitation schedule. The court will generally abide by the parties’ wishes if they agree, but the best interests of the child always comes first. If your Bronx child visitation attorney can show it is not in your child’s best interests to have visitation with the other parent, the court will not allow it. Of course, this needs to for a very good reason such that the child would be endangered in some way based on previous actions of your ex-spouse.

If a custodial parent opposes the child having visitation with certain other family members such as grandparents or aunts and uncles, it is possible for them to ask the court to order a visitation schedule. The court will only do this if the child already has a strong bond with the relative. Blood relation is not enough. The legal presumption in cases like this is for the custodial parent’s decision on the matter, so the relative must present evidence to overcome that presumption.

What Happens if Your Ex Tries to Stop Your Child Visitation

Unfortunately, everyone does not follow visitation orders as handed down by a judge, and in some cases the custodial parent refuses to let the child’s other parent have their visitation. Sometimes this is because the noncustodial parent is late with child support. Though certainly frustrating, that is not a legal reason to prevent visitation. The correct action would be for the spouse to file a “Petition for Violation of a Support Order.”

If your ex-spouse is keeping you from your child, contact your attorney who will file a “Petition for Enforcement of a Visitation Order” in your court in the Bronx. In the meantime, you must keep a record of every time you were prevented from seeing your child, because the judge will want details. Speak with your attorney immediately about what kind of information you should track in order to present to the judge. The judge does have the authority to impose penalties on the interfering parent such as fines. This also might be an occasion for the judge to revisit the visitation schedule, so if you want more time with your child, talk to your attorney.

If your child’s other parent is stopping you from seeing your child, that does not mean that you can stop child support payments. If you do that, you could be held to be in contempt of court and possibly even incarcerated.

Bronx Child Visitation Lawyer

The visitation schedule the judge orders will have a big impact on your life and that of your child. It’s important that you have the best legal representation possible. Consult with an experienced child visitation attorney practicing in the Bronx who can work toward a realistic schedule that enables your child to know both of their parents. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients who have custody issues and who have other family law matters. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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