The Post-Divorce-Parenting Glossary

Divorced-Parenting Term

Visitation Agreement

   A child visitation agreement is an official document that details the scheduling, exchange times, exchange locations, and other details involving visitation of a child custody between divorced or separated parents.
   Once a visitation agreement exists, a family court may regulate the time and days when the non-custodial parent is expected to visit the child according to the agreement.  The main aim of visitations is to help the child build positive emotions toward both parents, and help the child to develop emotionally, although the term "visitation" is a legal term that many find derogatory and demeaning.
   In a child visitation agreement, a visitation schedule is drafted and is expected to be strictly followed. The agreement is not intended to deprive either parent of their rights to be with their child, although because of the best interest of the child doctrine, a parent might feel a lessor role than he or she wants.
   A parent can go to family court and attempt to have the visitation agreement changed.  The court may consider it if the parent gives valid reasons for the judge to change the time and dates, if those reasons are in the best interest of the child.  If the schedule proposed after alteration is acceptable to both parents, then the schedule is confirmed.


   Child Visitation Template and Child Visitation Samples has a sample of a child visitation agreement that divorced or separated parents may wish to use.


   Who needs a child visitation agreement

   Visitation occurs when one parent is defined as the non-custodial parent and the other is the primary custodial parent.  In the case of joint physical custody, both parents are considered to be custodial parents, so a visitation agreement would not apply.


   Child visitation agreements vs. parenting plans

   While a child visitation agreement only applies to custody arrangements where one parent has sole physical custody and the other has visitation rights, a parenting plan applies to just about every typ of divorced or separated parenting relationship.  A parenting plan is used to define the roles of each parent throughout the divorce, and is intended to prevent conflict by having parents think through issues before they occur.

 Resources: Child Visitation Agreement
Use this child visitation agreement as the basis for your own divorced parenting relationship's visitation agreement.

Child Visitation Agreement, visitation

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