Dodd & Dodd Attorneys, PLLC

Dodd & Dodd Attorneys, PLLC Louisville Kentucky

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How is Visitation Different than Child Custody

How is Visitation Different than Child Custody - Louisville Divorce

How is visitation different than child custody in a Louisville divorce?  Child Custody is generally made up of two components: physical custody and legal custody. Physical Custody is the legal right to have a child live in your home and to have them with you, while legal custody is the right to make important decisions regarding medical issues, religion, education and other practices and activities in the child’s life.

A Custody or Parenting Plan that includes visitation (the time each child will spend with each parent) is a component of physical custody and lays out specific steps for how the child or children will be cared for while usually ensuring regular quality time with each parent after the divorce.

The common term for this is “visitation.” Visitation is different than child custody because it is an element of the temporary or permanent child custody orders themselves.  The Custody or Parenting Plan is a written agreement between the parties (or an order by the Court) establishing the responsibilities, visitation schedule and roles of each parent going forward.  How much time will the child(ren) spend with each parent and on what schedule?  How will holidays and vacations be allocated between the parties?  How will the child(ren) move from place to place, school and activities?

The guiding principle established in Kentucky family law is known as “the best interests of the child.”  The Custody or Parenting Plan should be comprehensive, while providing an easy-to-follow schedule for both the child(ren) and the parents.  When both parties are working cooperatively with the best interests of the child(ren) at heart Parenting Plans can be quite creative.

While most Custody or Parenting Plans are firmly established, there should be flexibility as the children age, needs change and schedules adjust.  In most cases the plan or schedule(s) can be modified with the simple agreement of the parties.  In some cases, this may require mediation or the input of the Court.

The Court must approve any Custody or Parenting Plan put forward by the parties, but in most cases when a plan is based upon a well thought out and carefully crafted agreement the Court will accept it.

Now you know the general concepts which make visitation different than child custody in a divorce context.  If you are considering a divorce and are concerned about issues such as how often you will be able to see your child or play an active role in their life it is important to seek the counsel of the experienced, proven family law attorneys at Dodd & Dodd Attorneys, PLLC.  We invite you to review the strong recommendations of our clients and contact us or call 502-584-1108 to schedule an appointment.