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Visitation Rights

Westport Attorneys Help Clients Assert Their Visitation Rights

Dedicated lawyers keep you connected with your children

Parents who do not have physical custody of their children generally have a right to frequent, meaningful visitation. However, a custodial parent can place many obstacles in the noncustodial parent’s path, first in custody litigation to persuade a judge not to allow visits and afterward by interfering with visitation to undermine the parent-child relationship. At Needle | Cuda, our Westport firm has helped parents throughout Fairfield County overcome impediments to visitation so they can maintain their loving relationship with their children. We have also assisted grandparents and other third parties seeking to defend their relationship with a cherished child. If you need to assert your right to visitation, we can provide the knowledgeable and determined representation you need.

Parental visitation rights in Connecticut

Under Connecticut law, parents who do not have custody of their children can petition the court for an order of visitation. Visitation is often an issue during divorce proceedings but the issue can also arise after a man has established paternity for the child of a woman he was never married to. In a visitation case, the court can issue three types of decisions:

  • Unsupervised visitation — If contact with the parent is in the best interests of the child, the court can order the custodial parent to make the child available for time with the noncustodial parent. Depending on the circumstances, visitation can include overnights.
  • Supervised visitation — If there are doubts about the noncustodial parent’s fitness, or fears that unsupervised contact might be detrimental to the child, the court can restrict visitation to sessions overseen by a third party. The third party is usually a trained professional who can report to the court on the interactions between parent and child. Often, after a period of successful supervised visitation, the court lifts restrictions, allowing for unsupervised visitation.
  • No visitation — If a court determines by the weight of the evidence that contact with the noncustodial parent is contrary to the child’s best interest, the court can prohibit visitation until circumstances change substantially for the better. In extreme cases, the court can terminate parental rights, so the noncustodial parent no longer has any legal claim on the child.

As your visitation rights attorneys, we present the court with factual evidence of your fitness as a parent and the positive nature of your relationship with your child. We also rebut any allegations that might give the court second thoughts about awarding you unlimited visitation.

Combatting interference with your visitation rights

Under Connecticut law, the custodial parent has a duty to make the child available for visits with the noncustodial parent. Unfortunately, too many custodial parents attempt to undermine their child’s relationship with the other parent. We have seen various tactics, which include:

  • Dropping off the child late and demanding the child be returned early
  • Canceling visits without notice
  • Scheduling events in conflict with visits
  • Subtly rewarding the child for rejecting the other parent or punishing the child for expressing affection

When a custodial parent behaves in this manner, the noncustodial parent often attempts to use the only leverage available: withholding child support payments. However, these tactics generally backfire, because they put the noncustodial parent on the wrong side of the law.  A more positive approach is to petition the court for enforcement of the visitation order. We can guide you through the process smoothly and effectively.

Third-party visitation rights in Connecticut

Connecticut law recognizes that persons other than parents may have a substantial relationship with a child that warrants preservation. So, under limited circumstances, grandparents and other third parties, such as siblings, have a right to court-ordered visitation with a child. However, in a dispute with a fit parent, a third party does not start on an equal footing. Because courts defer to a parent’s prerogative, you must have experienced and determined legal representation. If you are looking for a capable advocate to assert your visitation rights, you can trust Needle | Cuda.

Contact our Westport family lawyers for capable representation in your visitation dispute.

If you are engaged in a dispute over your visitation rights in Fairfield County, Needle | Cuda is ready to help. We provide highly responsive service and effective representation focused on positive results. To reserve a consultation, call us today at 203-429-4151 or contact our Westport office online.

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