When a relationship breaks down and there are children involved there will often be a custody battle over many issues to do with the child/children. Many fathers are concerned, understandably, about what this means for them. .
Fathers visitations rights will arise in circumstances where they do not win custody of the child and these visitation rights can be agreed with the custodial parent or arise as a result of a court ruling in circumstances where the parents have been unable to agree a parenting plan and access rights for the non custodial parent.
The first thing to recognize is that the court may prevent visitation right altogether for the father where the court decides that it is not in the best interests of the child. This would be unusual though and the general award of visitation rights can vary depending on how far apart the parents live and other factors.
A common award by the custody court in respect of the father’s rights would be to get access to the child every second weekend. This will vary from case to case and the location of the parents new living arrangements may make this problematic and in these circumstances the court will have regard to this and may incorporate arrangements for the dad to exercise visitation rights during school holidays.
A parenting plan should make provision for visitation by the non custodial parent and the best way to agree a plan is through talking and negotiation with the custodial parent. Alternative dispute resolution procedures can be very useful to broker a deal in respect of parenting and visitation and trained child custody mediators can prove very useful in this regard.
A parenting plan that is agreed by the parents can be rubberstamped by the court and at this point it becomes binding on both parents. In conclusion fathers visitation rights are negotiable and any dad who has concerns in this regard should attempt to agree a visitation/parenting plan with the mother of the child and seek to have it made an order of court so that it is fully enforceable.