Mohawk Valley parents who do not have custody of their children may have alternative orders that allow them access to their children. Visitation rights can be ordered by family law courts when joint custody is not occurring between two parents. Though two separate individuals may have standing visitation orders, those orders may look very different. This is because in each child custody and visitation case, the judge must determine what arrangement will serve the best interests of the child involved in that particular matter.
As such, a parent may have one of several different types of visitation with his child. First, a parent may have unsupervised visitation, which means that he and his child may engage in practically unrestricted activity during the times that they are together. Second, if there is any question that the safety of the child may be threatened then a judge may order a parent to have supervised visitation with his kid. Supervised visitation is often done in a preselected location with a neutral third party present to ensure the child's safety.
Third, some New York courts order therapeutic visitation. Therapeutic visitation is a form of supervised visitation where the third party present is a counselor or therapist who can work with the parent and child to improve their relationship and interactions. Not all supervised visitation orders will include therapy and these restrictions are assigned based on the needs and interest of the child.
Visitation is ordered in many cases because courts understand the value that is gained from children having relationships with both of their parents. As children age their needs may fluctuate, and as such, parents can from time to time pursue modifications to their child custody and visitation plans. Doing so can be a challenging process and for this reason some parents utilize the help of family law attorneys when they wish to change or modify the schedules that grant them access to their kids.