If a court has granted your co-parent sole custody of your child, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t remain part of their lives. Unless a parent is denied custody because they could pose a threat to their child’s well-being, courts often allow generous visitation rights. Most judges want to see a child maintain a relationship with both parents if it’s in their best interests.
Sometimes, when one parent is denied custody rights, it’s because their living situation or their work responsibilities don’t make caring for a child possible. Maybe all they can afford is a studio apartment. Perhaps their job takes them out of town regularly. In some cases, it’s because a child isn’t able to move back and forth between homes. Perhaps they’re too young.
There are different types of visitation schedules you can seek. These include:
- Every weekend
- Alternate weekends
- One or two weeknights (every week or every other week)
- Summer vacations
- Holidays/days your child is off school
- Visits with the child during the day (no overnights)
- Virtual visitation
It’s wise to determine what kind of visitation schedule you’d like to seek before going into a custody hearing. For example, if you’re sleeping on your brother’s sofa in his one-bedroom apartment until you can get a place of your own, you probably aren’t going to get overnight visitations with your child.
If the situation that led to the custody denial is temporary (like a living situation or a job assignment that requires you to divide your time between Austin and El Paso), it’s important to find out what changes you need to make before you can request a modification to the custody order. Your attorney can help you decide when that’s appropriate.