2/22/2018

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Visitation Rights and Your Child

One of the most understated provisions of child custody hearings is the rights of visitation. Unless both parents agree to joint or shared custody of their children, the judge in the divorce courts will have to make a decision as to what is best for the children, taking into consideration the wishes of both parents.

Visitation rights can become a hot issue, filled with anger and foreboding, because one parent may feel that he or she is being treated unfairly. They can't come to grips over the amount of time they will be allowed to spend with their children.

If the parents can't sit down and work out a reasonable visitation arrangement, the judge makes the decision, spelling out when, where, and for how long a parent may spend with their children. When the judge makes the call, in most cases, one, or both, of parents end up feeling cheated, and that feeling may last for years, creating animosity between the parents that, in some cases, never go away.

Going into a divorce, fathers often feel that they are going to get the short end of the stick because they know that more than likely, the the ex-wife is going to get sole custody of the children and they will get visitation rights. Although court ordered child custody policies have changed in recent years, men still have a tough time proving that they are best fit to take custody of the children, which is not always the case.

Men love their children just as much as women do, but society looks more favorably to women because, until recent years, were the ones who stayed home and took care of the children. Although times and opinions are changing, they are changing slowly.

Women feel that they are the most important element in child nurturing, and they may have a point. Most children, although they love their fathers, seem to gravitate towards their mothers and they look to their mothers for unconditional love and protection. Men offer protection, but they are more likely to take a tougher stance when their children don't do as expected.

Often men over compensate by trying to make every moment count when they have the children. They do things that are fun to make up for lost time, they let them eat what they want, go to bed when they want, go to movies, theme parks, ball games, and try to make the children see that they are not the bad guy.

When children go home to their mothers, they often fuss about set bedtimes, chores, homework and other routines.

Most men remarry within a three or four year period after a divorce. Sometimes they marry a woman who already has children, too. This makes it difficult for visits because of overcrowding in the home, or maybe the stepmother doesn't want his children over so often. The same is true for the ex-wife who may have remarried. The stepfather may want more free time with his new wife or he may have children that he is bringing into the marriage.

At any rate, visitation periods may become shorter, or longer, depending on the situation. This may be good in some instances, but bad in others, and there may come a time when their is emotional distancing between parents and their children, especially with the non custodial parent.

Sometimes, visitation rights may be lost if parents move away, out of the neighborhood, the state, or sometimes the country. Many fathers who fail to make child support payments have complained that ex-wives make it hard, sometimes nearly impossible to see their children. When father's are given custodial rights, many mother's complain that it is just as difficult to see their children.

But all in all, visitation rights are essential for maintaining parent/child relationships and the time spent together is important for the development and maintenance of bonds that last well into the child's adult life.

 

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