Perhaps you’re getting divorced and have children with your spouse. Perhaps you’ve never been married to your ex, but the two of you share children together. Either way, you may feel overwhelmed as you learn about child custody and visitation rights. Custody is an emotional issue. You of course want to be the best parent you can be, but that doesn’t always involve being in a relationship with your co-parent.

However, no matter how well the two of you get along and how much you may think you can trust their co-parenting style, you need to be prepared. Custody is often what makes divorce cases more drawn out than they need to be. According to, about half of all American marriages end in divorce or separation, so you’re certainly not alone if you plan on sharing custody with your ex. Let’s take a look at some of the main things you should know about visitation rights.


1. A Fixed Visitation Schedule Can Have Benefits

Often, divorce cases that end with uneven custody agreements (not 50/50) result in a fixed visitation schedule. This means that the non-custodial parent must be able to visit the child at fixed, agreed upon, or court-mandated times. Often, judges select this because it provides stability for children


2. Grandparents Have Rights

Divorce cases affect more than just the parents and children. In every state, grandparents have some kind of visitation rights; but they do vary from state to state. Grandparents sometimes have to petition the court for visitation.


3. Visitation Can Be Modified

If a parent fails to exercise their visitation rights or circumstances make the visitation schedule unreasonable, parents can petition for a modification. However, attorneys sometimes advocate against this out of concern for the children.


4. Custodial Parents Seem to Have More Power

While judges often expect non-custodial parents to get ‘reasonable’ visitation, custodial parents often have more control over daily issues in these cases. This is because they have the children are with them, and the non-custodial parent often must work around their schedule to be included in some things.


5. You Don’t Have Control Over What Happens During Visitation

You can’t force your co-parent to tell you where your child is at all times during their visitation time unless of course they are put in harm’s way. However, if they fail to return your child after that time ends, you can seek help from the authorities.

Resolving issues around custody and visitation can be difficult. Make sure you speak with a dependable lawyer if you need help.g