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Divorce can be emotionally strenuous for all parties involved, but it is especially hard on the children. When parents are separating, most state courts give both parents equal rights to visitation until a child custody agreement is reached. Knowing how to deal with visitation rights during a divorce can help minimize any legal and emotional headaches.

In this article, we will discuss the definition of parent visitation rights, factors to consider when handling visitation rights, and the process for negotiating visitation rights. With this information, you can better navigate how to handle visits with your children during a divorce. Let’s get started!

What are Parent Visitation Rights?

Parent visitation rights are the legal right of a non-custodial parent to visit and spend time with their children. This usually includes spending time together at home, taking trips, going on family outings, or attending special events. Some states even have laws that require both parents to give consent for any major decisions regarding the child’s health, education, or religious upbringing.

Visitation rights help ensure that all parties can stay connected and be part of their child’s life even if they are not living together. The court will usually set a visitation schedule and, if necessary, work with the family to devise an acceptable arrangement.

Factors To Consider When Handling Visitation Rights

Handling visitation rights is a complex process, so many factors must be considered. Some of the most important are the effects on children’s emotions, location, time and duration of visitation periods, who should be present during visits, and mediating parental conflict during visitation.

The effects on children’s emotions

Divorce can often cause a roller coaster of emotions for children. When the parents are separated, the child will naturally be anxious and confused. This can be especially hard if the child is not used to spending time away from one of their parents. Families should take these emotions into account when discussing visitation rights and come up with an arrangement that is best for the child’s mental well-being.

The age of the child can also affect how to handle visitation rights. For example, younger children may need more frequent visits with their non-custodial parent, while older children may feel more comfortable with a less structured arrangement.

Location, time, and duration of visitation periods

Location and time are key factors to consider when negotiating visitation rights. When deciding where the visits will take place, it is important to choose a convenient location for both parents. This could be at one of their homes or a neutral location like a park or library. This way, the parent that does not have custody is still getting quality time with the child.

The frequency and duration of visitation should also be discussed between both parents and adjusted based on the needs of their child. If possible, both parents can decide on a visitation schedule together, but if they cannot agree, it will ultimately be decided by the court.

When determining how long each visit should last, parents should consider the age of their children. For example, younger kids may need more frequent but shorter visits, while older children may feel comfortable with longer visits.

Who should be present during visits?

Another important factor to consider when handling visits is who should be present during the visit. In some cases, both parents may want to be there to help ensure that things run smoothly and provide support for their child. However, if one or both of the parents feel uncomfortable with this arrangement, it may be best to have another adult present.

Having a neutral third party present during visits can help mediate conflicts between the parents and ensure everything runs smoothly. This person should also be able to provide emotional support for the child and make sure their needs are being met.

Mediating parental conflict during visitation

It is not uncommon for parents to have disagreements during visits, and both parties need to find ways to work together and resolve any conflicts. Parents should establish ground rules for the visit beforehand and try to come up with a plan of action in case of any issues. This could include taking a break, talking in a separate room, or having the visiting parent leave for a short time if necessary.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that visitation rights are in the best interest of the child. Parents should strive to put their differences aside and work together for the sake of their children. This will ensure that both parents can stay connected to their children throughout and after the divorce.

Process for Negotiating Visitation Rights

Now that you know the basics of negotiating visitation rights, here is a brief overview of the process: 

Compile documents and information about children’s needs

Before negotiating visitation rights, parents should prepare to discuss the issue by gathering documents and information about the children’s needs. This could include school records, reports from doctors or therapists, and any other relevant materials that can help provide insight into their emotional and physical well-being.

Working with a divorce lawyer to draft a parenting agreement

Once the necessary documents have been gathered, the next step is to work with a divorce lawyer to draft an agreement outlining the visitation rights of both parents. This document should include details such as the location and duration of visits, which should be present, and any other information that both parties need to agree on.

Court orders and other legal options available to secure visitation rights

If the parents cannot agree, then a court order may be necessary. This will allow the court to set visitation rights and make sure that they are enforced. The court can also provide other legal options, such as supervised visits or counseling services, if there is a significant risk of harm to either parent or child.

Adjusting visitation rights as needed

In some cases, the visitation rights that were initially agreed upon may need to be adjusted. This could be due to changes in circumstances, such as a move or job change, or even if an adjustment is needed for the child’s needs. Whenever possible, both parents should discuss any changes before making any adjustments.


The best way to deal with parent visitation rights during a divorce is to come up with an agreement between both parties. If this cannot be done, it may become necessary to involve the court system. This can help ensure that parents are given access to their children and that they can remain involved in their lives.

Ultimately, the goal is to ensure that both parents have the opportunity to maintain a healthy relationship with their children. With careful consideration and legal help, this can be achieved.

Ultimately, it can take considerable effort to develop an agreement that works for everyone involved in a divorce. However, if you do your homework and follow the necessary steps, you’ll have a better chance of coming to an amicable agreement that works in your family’s best interest.

Farbood Majd Esq.

Family Law & Divorce Attorney in Beverly Hills

Providing service in English and Farsi

Address: 8383 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 646, Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Phone: 310.956.4600 | Fax: 310.878.8989

Email: [email protected]