Visitation and Access rights
A parent who is not given custody of a child can still have rights to visit the child and take part in the child’s life. These are called access rights. Access rights allow you to visit with your children and know about their health, education and general welfare. You and your spouse can either agree on visitation yourselves or you can ask the court to give you an access order. Access orders can be open or they can be specifically structured depending on the circumstances.
In some cases a parent who does not have custody will only have occasional access rights while, in other cases, a parent who does not have custody may have the children every weekend. A typical access order is that the parent who is given access will be with the child on alternate weekends and perhaps one evening in between. Long weekends will be divided equally as will Christmas vacations and March break. An access parent will usually have the child for two or three weeks in the summer to coincide with their own vacations. However, where appropriate, the non-custodial parent may be denied access.
A lawyer can help you understand your rights and establish the best possible arrangement for you and your children.