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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

If a judge assigns reasonable visitation, what does this mean?

Kids need as many positive influences in their lives as possible. Adults, including parents, are incredibly influential in a child's life. This is why judges sometimes assign visitation in cases where parents are not granted custody. Even if a child's parents are not together, it is still best for a parent to be involved in the child's life as a positive influence, when appropriate.

This is why visitation can be a great child custody option and resolution. If a judge assigns 'reasonable visitation,' this is one of the most lenient visitation schedule arrangements. This type of visitation schedule means that it is left to the parents to arrange and determine specific visitation times. The parent that has the majority of the custodial rights generally has more power in this situation.

Because of this, reasonable custody requires extensive communication and flexibility between the custodial parent and the parent with visitation rights. In these situations, the custodial parent is not obligated to agree to any visitation arrangement or schedule. However, in the same respect, custodial parents are not allowed to be malicious or unaccommodating to the process itself. If parents can generally get along, this is a great visitation schedule because it allows for the most flexibility.

Regardless of the type of visitation schedule a parent is assigned, the goal is the same. The schedule that parents share was assigned because, like all other custody decisions, it is in the best interests of the child. This should be at the heart of the decisions two parents make for their child. It can be easy to get caught up in other things, but, at the end of the day, this is the most important goal.

Source: FindLaw, "Parental Visitation Rights FAQ," Accessed September 5, 2016

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