West Chester, PA 19380
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Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.
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Visitation is different than custody, although visitation is usually a part of a custody agreement. Visitation is the ability to see your child, and may be considered partial physical custody or supervised physical custody. Like most legal decisions about children, the key factor in deciding who has the right to visitation with a child is what the court determines to be in the child's "best interests."
At Ciccarelli Law Offices, our dedicated family attorneys put their experience together to help you come to the best resolution for your loved ones. We thoroughly review your situation and give an honest assessment of the strength of your case and your options. We'll seek to help you spend time with your son or daughter.
On the contrary, if you are a parent and a person is seeking visitation with your child whose presence is not welcome, we will help protect your parental rights. Call us today at (877) 529-2422 or send an online message, and we can set up a free consultation to discuss your visitation matter at one of our locations in West Chester, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Plymouth Meeting, Kennett Square, Malvern, Springfield, King of Prussia, or Radnor.
We represent clients with complex family law issues in Chester County, Lancaster County, Montgomery County, Delaware County and throughout the Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania area.
Family courts nearly always determine that visitation is in the child's best interest to spend with a parent. Grandparents and great-parents may also seek visitation of a child. This may occur if the child's parent is deceased, where the parents have been separated for at least six months and are seeking a divorce, or if the child lived with the grandparent for at least 12 consecutive months.
For example: Grandfather A is the parent of Spouse A, who has Child with Spouse B. Spouse B has refused to allow Grandfather A to see Child. If Spouse A and Spouse B are getting a divorce and have been separated for six months, Grandfather A can seek visitation with Child.
Step-parents may also seek this out. If, for example, you have participated in raising a stepchild for many years but are now getting divorced from that child's biological parent, you may seek visitation rights with that child. Other people, such as brothers and sisters, may also have standing to seek visitation. The key issue is whether it is in the best interests of the child.
The court might determine that this is necessary if there is a concern about the safety of the child. It may order supervised visitation if, for example, there is a history of child abuse or if the person seeking visitation is not mentally capable of taking care of a child.
In supervised agreements, the court may appoint a person to monitor all visits, who may be a Pennsylvania state employee or an employee of an agency. The court may also approve a person agreed upon by the parents to supervise.
If you are the parent with primary custody, and the other parent has not lived up to his or her obligations by failing to pay child support or any other lapse, it may be tempting to deny visitation to the parent. After all, if the parent is not helping raise the child, why should he or she get to see the child? However, this is not an advisable path.
There are legal options accessible through your attorney. Taking the matter into your own hands without the backing of an official legal document and court approval may cause trouble down the road.
Similarly, if you are a parent of a child and the custodial parent is denying you time out of spite or any other reason, a lawyer experienced in state child visitation laws can help you exercise your rights to be involved in your loved one's life.
Whatever you are seeking time with your son, daughter, or grandchild; modification of an existing child visitation agreement; or you are a parent seeking to deny visitation, our experienced legal team can help you. We proudly serve clients throughout West Chester, Phoenixville, Coatesville, Paoli, Lititz, Ephrata, Norristown, Villanova, Media, Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and nearby areas. Call today at (877) 529-2422 or send an online message for a free consultation.