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What does reasonable visitation mean?

When it comes to divorce, who is to have primary custody of a couple's child is usually one of the harder things for the parents to decide. Once the parents have cleared that hurdle, they must then also work out the details to the visitation rights of the other parent.

Depending on the circumstances, the judge presiding over the divorce may either rule that the other parent has fixed visitation, which means that the parents must follow a scheduled plan for when the other parent can see the child, and in some cases, where the visits must occur. In other instances, the judge may grant what is known as "reasonable visitation," which usually means that it is up to the discretion of the parents as to when the other souse can have parental visitation time. This type of visitation often works better for couples since they are then free to have a more flexible schedule of when visits will occur.

It is important to realize, however, that for a reasonable visitation schedule to actually work, both parents must be able to cooperate with each other and communicate in a reasonable manner. If you suspect that this may be an issue, it is usually better to ask the judge for fixed visitation instead. Fortunately, if you and your ex agree to try a reasonable visitation schedule and you find that it is not working, you can normally return to court for a modification to the custody agreement and ask for different terms.

Individuals who are facing divorce and have concerns about visitation rights may find it beneficial to discuss their options with an experienced family law attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," accessed May 21, 2015

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