The thought of losing time with your child due to divorce or separation can be overwhelming. It is natural for a parent to want to do everything they can in order to maintain a meaningful presence in their child’s life.
If you are attempting to maintain consistent contact with your child and are struggling due to an uncooperative parent, a Manhattan visitation lawyer could work to protect your relationship with your child. A dedicated family lawyer could fight for your rights in court and ensure that your role as a parent is properly valued in a visitation case.
Factors Considered in Child Visitation Cases
Under state law, a judge must decide how much time each parent will spend with their child based on the child’s best interests. Under Kansas Statute §23-3203, a judge has broad authority to determine what is best for a child and will consider many relevant factors, including:
- The child’s age
- The child’s physical and emotional needs
- Each parent’s desired contact with the child
- The child’s interaction with the parents, siblings, and extended family
- Each parent’s capacity and willingness to encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent
A judge may also assess whether there has been any domestic violence by a parent. If this is the case, the judge could either deny that parent visitation with their child or require that any contact between them be supervised. A parent seeking contact with their child could consult a capable Manhattan lawyer to discuss the factors that may play into their visitation rights.
Parenting Plans are Required in Manhattan
A parenting plan is a legal document that explains the rights and responsibilities each parent owes to their child. If parents can agree on visitation, they may submit a joint plan to a judge for approval. If they disagree, a judge will determine custody and visitation. This decision by a judge will legally bind both parents.
Generally, a parenting plan will address the division of the child’s time, including when each parent will see the child on holidays, birthdays, summer vacations, and school breaks. The plan should also address which parent is authorized to make major decisions regarding the child’s education, healthcare, and overall well-being.
Developing a parenting plan can be challenging, particularly if the parents cannot communicate civilly with each other. A skilled local visitation lawyer could facilitate discussions with the other parent or their attorney and help create an effective parenting plan.
An Unmarried Father’s Right to Visitation
In Manhattan, if a couple is married when a child is born, the husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father. However, if a father is not married to the mother at the time of the birth, he does not automatically have legal visitation rights to see his child.
To establish visitation rights, a father may sign a voluntary Admission of Paternity.
The mother must also sign the form and consent to the establishment of the father’s paternity. Once the Admission of Paternity is approved, the father’s name will be added to the child’s birth certificate.
In some cases, either a mother or an alleged father may dispute paternity. If that occurs, either party may file a paternity petition in district court. A judge will likely order genetic testing to establish paternity conclusively. Because of the significant rights and responsibilities associated with legal fatherhood, any parent involved in a paternity matter is advised to seek counsel from a practiced visitation lawyer in Manhattan.
Contact a Knowledgeable Visitation Attorney Today
Determining visitation when parents are in disagreement is often one of the most difficult aspects of a child custody case. A parent may be unsure of what they should do to ensure that their relationship with their child remains intact.
If you have questions about the legal process for establishing a parenting plan, a Manhattan visitation lawyer could address your concerns. Our firm’s caring attorneys have substantial experience handling all types of visitation cases and can help you navigate the parenting plan process. To discuss your case with a well-versed legal advocate, call our team today.