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Child Visitation Rights in North Carolina

A divorce or separation can take an extreme emotional toll on a couple; and child custody and visitation issues can complicate the matter even more, especially if the couple doesn’t get along. If sole custody is awarded to one parent, the other is still legally allowed to pursue a relationship with their child.

In North Carolina, custody and visitation are determined based on what is best for the child. If the court sees that one parent is more fit than the other, they may grant partial custody and/or sole custody to that parent.

When this happens, the other parent can request visitation rights to maintain their relationship with the child(ren).

Forms of Visitation

The circumstances of your situation will determine the type of visitation you are granted:

  1. Reasonable Visitation

When both parents can agree to their own visitation schedule, it is called reasonable visitation. In this scenario, the parents work together to create a plan that works best for the child and their personal schedules. Generally speaking, the court is likely to grant this type of visitation schedule, as they encourage parents to reach a peaceful resolution on their own.

If both parents agree to the concept of a visitation schedule but can’t come up with their own, the court will come up with one for them. This is still considered a reasonable visitation because both parties are ready and willing to work together in the best interest of their child(ren).

  1. Fixed Visitation

A fixed visitation schedule is a court-assigned dictation of exact days and times the parent may visit their child. This type of visitation is designed by the court when the parents can’t come up with their own schedule. While a reasonable visitation is less structured and can change weekly (if the parents choose) a fixed visitation schedule is unchangeable and must be fulfilled with no modifications. The fixed schedule is put in place for the benefit of the child, as the more regular a schedule is the more likely it is the child will flourish.

  1. Supervised Visitation

If one parent believes the other to be a danger to their child, they can petition the court for a supervised visitation schedule. This can be put in place if the other parent has a history of substance abuse, physical abuse, or any other dangerous habits that could endanger the child. If the court accepts the petition for supervised visitation, the non-custodial parent will only be able to see their child in the presence of another adult for a pre-determined amount of time.

  1. Electronic Visitation

This type of visitation is the least ideal as it severely limits the child’s ability to maintain their relationship with the non-custodial parent. However, if said parent doesn’t live near the child or their schedule doesn’t allow them to visit the child often enough, they can speak with the child using some form of electronic device.

Honoring the Visitation Schedule

Sometimes, one parent will repeatedly ignore the visitation schedule put in place by the courts. When this happens, he/she may face legal consequences.

If one parent does not follow the visitation order, you should:

  • Contact local police to get them to enforce the order.
  • Contact the district attorney, if you believe the other parent has abducted your child.
  • File a contempt of court action against the other parent. This asks the court to enforce the court-ordered visitation schedule.
  • Keep accurate records of each visitation and take note of when the other parent began to disobey the schedule.

Enforcing a court-ordered visitation schedule can get complicated if you don’t have the right professional resources on your side. For this reason, it’s important to consult an attorney with experience in visitation law who can guide you throughout the entire proceedings and help you get the results you want.

Contact Krusch Law, PLLC Today

At Krusch Law, PLLC , we understand the delicate nature of working out a child visitation schedule. Our board-certified attorney has over 25 years of experience practicing family law and always puts your child’s needs and best interests first.

Call our firm today at (704) 343-8811 or contact us online for a consultation.