Visitation is an important part of a child and parent’s relationship following a divorce. There is nothing that can take the place of a true relationship between a parent and child, and to have a solid relationship, these two people need to spend time with one another. If you’re not the custodial parent, visitation is likely invaluable to you. You want to spend as much time with your children as possible.
In Massachusetts, child custody and visitation is decided by looking at the best choice for the child. If both parents are stable, have good jobs and have safe homes, it’s likely that time with each parent could be equitable. That would mean that joint legal custody could be granted, so both parents can share in the decision making about the child’s health or other matters of importance.
If one parent isn’t stable or is unable to care for a child, visitation is still an option. While the stable parent would take over primary physical custody, the other parent still has a right to see his child. Visitation rights are typically granted to this parent, and he or she can see the child within those scheduled visits. If the visits are conflicting or can’t be followed through on, a modification order can be requested, so each parent can still be in the child’s life.
If you have to relocate or your child’s primary guardian has to relocate, then the court needs to approve this. Legal changes to visitation rights must be granted, and if they are not, the other parent will not be able to move with the child.