When parents of a minor child are unmarried or live apart, disputes can arise over visitation rights. Parents that do not have primary custody of a child could still retain the right to visit their children, but the courts are typically involved in this process.
If you are involved in a visitation dispute or need to develop a parenting plan, a skilled family law attorney from our firm can take the lead with your case. Resolving visitation issues can be challenging, but an outcome that every side is satisfied with is well worth it for you and your children. Let a Des Peres visitation lawyer from Jones Family Law Group, LLC, guide you through this critical process and protect your relationship with your children.
How is Visitation Decided?
The courts will not make a decision in a child visitation case on a whim. Instead, judges are required to make this decision by applying what is known as the “best interest of the child” standard. This is the same standard that is used to make decisions regarding child custody.
There are many different factors that the court must take into account when weighing the best interest of the child. It is notable that while the court will consider the wishes of each parent, those wishes can be put aside if it is in the child’s best interest to do so.
Some of the aspects of this standard involve each parent’s ability to foster a relationship with the child. The courts prefer both parents to have meaningful contact with their children when it is safe to do so. Some other factors considered by this standard include:
- Any history of domestic abuse
- The child’s interactions with each parent
- The willingness of a parent to foster a relationship with the other parent
- The mental health of all parties
- The physical health of all parties
Dealing with the best interest standard can be difficult, given that it includes numerous factors and that it can seem subjective. One of the best ways to navigate this process is by relying on the guidance of a visitation attorney serving Des Peres.
Who Can Receive Visitation Rights in Des Peres?
Visitation disputes generally involve the parents of the minor child. These issues can come up during the course of divorce proceedings, but visitation plays a role in separate child custody or paternity hearings as well. A child’s biological parent has the right to request visitation from the court in situations where they do not have full custody.
As our attorneys can further explain, visitation rights are not limited to biological parents. In some cases, grandparents of a minor child might also have the right to seek visitation. This is most common after a divorce or the death of a parent. However, grandparents can face challenges in visitation cases when the child’s parents were never married.
Same-sex parent visitation has its own unique issues, especially when one parent does not formally adopt the child but acts in a parental role of the child. Filing a third-party visitation or custody request with the court is complex and requires a skilled attorney to guide you through the process.
Some relationships may also struggle to secure visitation rights. The most common example is a step-parent who has not adopted a child. While courts rarely award visitation in these instances, the best interest of the child standard still applies.
Discuss Your Rights With a Des Peres Visitation Attorney Today
When you face the prospect of a visitation discussion or dispute, it is important that you first talk over your options with legal counsel. An experienced attorney from our firm is here to ensure you understand your rights throughout this entire process.
To get started, reach out to a Des Peres visitation lawyer from Jones Family Law Group, LLC. Our dedicated team of attorneys will fight hard to ensure that the best interests of your children are served.