Visitation is something that a non-custodial parent will be entitled to, under law. The standard visitation schedule that we see on a day-to-day basis in most divorce decrees is alternating holidays, alternating weekends, and possibly a day or two during the week. We also see extensive time over a summer vacation and winter break.
Visitation is crucial to maintaining a good relationship with your child. Just because you do not have physical custody or the day-to-day operations of the child does not mean that you should take a back seat when it comes to visitation. Visitation is very important to maintain a good relationship with your child. If you can maintain a good relationship with your child, even though you don’t have physical custody, you can help ensure that your child is not going to become a problem child in school, emotionally, and physically.
If your ex-spouse is not allowing visitation, pursuant to your divorce decree, then you have rights. You have the ability to come back into court on a post-decree motion, Rule to Show Cause, attempting to hold your ex-spouse in contempt for violating the visitation schedule. Some ex-spouses start to withhold visitation because they are not receiving child support payments. Visitation and child support are mutually exclusive issues. Thus, the mere fact that you may not be paying child support does not preclude you from exercising your visitation rights.
So, maintain a positive relationship with your child by exercising visitation pursuant to the schedule that’s set out in your judgment for dissolution. If you do not exercise visitation, your ex-spouse can possibly come into court and suspend your visitation. Further, think about your child. Your child is going through enough by having the family relationship broken apart.
Don’t make matters worse by making the child feel that they’re the problem because you don’t want to come around and exercise your visitation. Make sure that you follow, to the letter of your agreement, your visitation schedule. It will be good for you, it will be good for your child, and it will be great for the relationship going forward, between you and your child.