How Does Parenting Time Work as a Non-Custodial Parent?
In many divorce cases, one parent will be granted primary physical custody of a child. This primary caretaker is called the custodial parent, while the other parent is called the non-custodial parent. Non-custodial parents are usually entitled to some degree of parenting time, previously called visitation. There are many different types of parenting time and it is usually best if the parents come to an agreement together. If that does not happen, evaluations may be required and a judge may ultimately decide on a plan that is best for the child.
Understanding Different Types of Parenting Time
The most prevalent type of parenting time is unsupervised, in which a child can stay with the non-custodial parent for a scheduled amount of time without requiring someone else to be present. This usually occurs during weekends, weeknights, or holidays. This is generally the preferred form, as it feels the most familiar for the child.
The second type is supervised parenting time. This method is used when a parent is determined to be a potential threat to the child or cannot be trusted to be alone with them for any reason. When supervised time is scheduled, another adult chosen by the parents or appointed by the court, such as a social worker, will be present to oversee the parenting time. Supervised parenting time can take place at a parent’s home or specific locations approved by the court. Virtual visitation via the internet using Skype or Facetime are also sometimes an option.
If the non-custodial parent breaks the agreements decided on by the court they may have their parenting time restricted or even revoked completely. However, a custodial parent cannot deny the non-custodial parent his or her parenting time once it has been agreed upon. If the custodial parent tries to do this, he or she may face repercussions as well.
Can Parenting Time be Denied to a Non-Custodial Parent?
A non-custodial parent can be denied parenting time if the court decides the child would be better off without contact from that parent. There are a number of reasons the court would make this decision including but not limited to:
- A history of domestic violence
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Mental Illness
- The parent no longer has contact with the child
In these cases, the parent can sometimes work to get their rights restored by following plans drawn up by the court. Some things they might have the non-custodial parent do include:
The parent who has had their parenting rights revoked can also petition the court to have their rights restored, but must appropriately prove to the court that he or she will be able to adequately care for the child.