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Reasonable visitation in New York

When New York parents decide to end their marriage, one parent will normally be given primary or sole physical custody of their children. The court will also establish how visitation can be handled, and one type of visitation for the non-custodial parent is what is called reasonable visitation.

Reasonable visitation essentially allows the parents of children to set their own schedule for visitation, but the custodial parent generally has the most power and influence in these situations. With this type of court order, the custodial parent is under no obligation to accept any particular schedule, although if someone is being unreasonable, it may have an impact on future modifications if this behavior is shared with the court. Reasonable visitation generally works best when parents are able to cooperate and communicate without problems, and it gives them the ability to set visitation around their own schedules.

If a couple is not able to cooperate, the judge should be informed so that an another standard for visitation may be set. This is also possible if reasonable visitation has been ordered and a couple returns to the court because it is not working. Fixed visitation is a common alternative, and in this type of visitation, a judge sets the times, and sometimes locations, for when a non-custodial parent may see their children.

Child support and visitation are often two of the largest sources of concern and contention for a divorcing couple with children. In some cases, the custodial parent may attempt to prevent the other parent from being able to see their children for no good reason in contravention of a reasonable visitation order. In such an event, the non-custodial parent may wish to obtain a modification of the existing order with the assistance of a family law attorney who can also determine what other remedies may be available.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ", accessed on Jan. 28, 2015

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