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How to File for Child Visitation Rights in New York

Posted on April 10, 2023

Separations and divorces can cause instability in a child’s life, often separating them from important, influential people in their world. Maintaining continuity helps children gain a sense of balance in their world as their family dynamics change significantly.

You may need help establishing visitation with a child during divorce proceedings. A family law attorney with experience in child visitation rights can help you maintain or reconnect the connection with a child.

Who Can File for Visitation Rights?

It is not just the parent of a child that can file for visitation rights. Legally, grandparents and siblings may file for visitation. Additionally, domestic partners may file for visitation rights.

After filing for visitation rights, a court will determine what is in the child’s best interest. Both parents are entitled to visitation unless it can be proven that a parent’s visitation may not benefit the child.

Filing For Child Visitation Rights

It is beneficial when the parents of a child can agree to a visitation schedule without court intervention. If this is not the case, a parent can file a visitation petition in family court. The case will be referred to the Supreme Court if divorce proceedings coincide.

The child usually lives with the parent who has custody, so a noncustodial parent may seek visitation. A court will look at factors that affect the child’s best interest when determining the frequency of visits and what type of visitation will be allowed.

Considerations for Visitation

Some factors may influence the visitation rights of the noncustodial parent. Some elements may warrant supervised visitation, meaning a visit can only happen when a third party supervises. A family law attorney in New York can help you assess these factors.

  • Work schedules
  • What parent has served as a primary caregiver
  • History of domestic violence
  • The child’s relationship with the parent seeking visitation
  • The relationship between the parents of the child
  • The parent’s geographical location
  • The child’s wishes

A Court Hearing

A court proceeding occurs in either family court or as part of a divorce hearing. In both incidents, including joint custody, a lawyer may be appointed to speak with the child and work to determine their wishes, relaying them to the court. The judge may also find it beneficial to select a caseworker or guardian ad litem to assess the child’s needs to determine what would be most advantageous.

The judge will review information compiled by appointed representatives to the child. A judge retains the right to speak with the child in private to obtain information and understand the child’s wishes though this will not be the determining factor in the decision. This meeting will only be between the child and the judge so the child can speak freely without influence or fear of repercussion.

The Judge’s Order

When all the information has been presented, a judge will determine what is best for the child. The judge will show no favoritism to either parent, as the ruling is based solely on the child’s best interest.

Securing Competent Representation

Determining visitation rights can be extremely stressful in divorce, often fueling discontent and anger between parties. No one should tackle this situation without representation.

A professional practice such as The Law Office of Vivien I. Stark, P.C. understands the emotional toll a divorce can take. Conducting with controlled and proper judgment is critical as a parent when presenting your desires in a court of law. We can help you navigate the process successfully, seeking the best outcome for you and your child.

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