The issue of visitation arises when parties to a divorce or civil action have minor children. It also arises when unmarried individuals have children together. Visitation is referred to interchangeably in Connecticut courts as parenting access. Parties to these types of actions must develop a parenting plan that allows the children of their union to spend visitation or access time with the parent who does not have primary residential custody.
Visitation is not only the parent’s right to see his or her child. It is also the child’s right to a continuing relationship with that parent. Children are already experiencing upheaval and emotional trauma because of their parents’ decisions. The absence of a parent only compounds these feelings for a child and it is imperative that everything is done to ensure the child’s continued contact with that parent or the child can experience severe lasting emotional trauma.
Visitation and access schedules are created on a case by case basis. While an attorney can assist you in the development of these visitation and access plans, it is always optimum for the parents to develop the visitation schedule without the intervention of third parties. When parents argue about visitation and put the issue in the hands of the Court, it can result in the minor children being exposed to interviews with Court appointed individuals who must gather and report information to the Court regarding their best interests. These individuals make recommendations to the Court that can carry great weight in the decision a judge makes regarding visitation or access plans. Obviously parents of minor children are in a much better position to determine what is in the best interests of their minor children.
Some families choose a traditional model where the children reside with a primary caretaker and visit the other parent on alternating weekends, with evenings each week for dinner and a specific holiday and vacation schedule. It is not unusual to extend these weekends to include a Thursday overnight or a Sunday overnight to Monday morning. It is all dependent on the best interests of the child and what works best to meet the family’s needs.
Being a parent requires total commitment. That commitment must increase when a parent is experiencing a separation or a divorce. Minor children have no control over the legal process, but their adult parents do. In addition, parents have a responsibility to control their behavior throughout the process and to recognize the impact it has on their children. Successful parenting after a separation requires cooperation. It also requires parents to recognize their children’s emotional needs and their right to an ongoing relationship with both parents.
Attorney Reynolds has three decades of experience helping parents come to a resolution regarding their parenting access and visitation disputes. She is trained by the State of Connecticut to represent minor children as an Attorney for Minor Children (AMC) and as a Guardian ad Litem (GAL). Her training as a Mediator compliments her lengthy professional experience enabling Attorney Reynolds to assist parents and children create a visitation plan that works best for their family. Likewise, her experience and training provide valuable and necessary skills to fight for visitation rights in court, should the need arise.
Call the Law Offices of Karen Reynolds, LLC today for your free consultation.