Visitation | Establishing a visitation schedule in Bucks County
Visitation is a court order that defines rights of the non-custodial parent regarding when he or she can have contact with the child. The wishes of the non-custodial parent, whoever is granted visitation rights, may not conflict with the policies/wishes determined by the custodial parent. i.e. religious choices that conflict with custodial parent’s determinations.
Having representation regarding the following issues related to visitation is best. A lawyer can act as a buffer between spouses if the split was bitter, and experts agree that having a lawyer makes the process of determining visitation much easier.
Securing visitation rights
If parents cannot agree on visitation at the time of splitting up, the couple will have to petition the court to gain visitation. The jurisdiction is within which ever state the child has lived for the past six months. Notice is served to the other party who must answer the complaint or the respondent can file a counter-complaint for custody and/or visitation.
Denying visitation rights
If the custodial parent decides to deny visitation on a regular basis, he or she can be jailed or fined. Further, his or her own visitation rights can be revoked by a judge. Never deny visitation because child support has not been received – a judge will see you as being at fault.
When trying to deny or limit visitation rights, the parent must obtain as much official documentation as to evidence the degree to which the other parent is unfit. Examples of this include collecting police reports in cases where the other parent was intoxicated, doctor reports proving the severity of a child’s sickness, or reporting to the Child Protective Services. A parent may also request an emergency hearing.
Changing visitation rights
Because stability is always best for a child, you must make sure that there is a solid and legitimate reason for modifying visitation. Gathering similar evidence suggested above, like reports and records can help.
In instances where the parent has not returned the child within 48 hours of the predetermined time, the following punishments can apply in the state of Pennsylvania:
- If the abducting parent remained within the state: It is considered a misdemeanor, as a result he/she can be fined $25 or imprisoned for up to 30 days
- If the abducting parent crosses the state line: It is considered a felony, as a result he/she can be fined $250 -$1000 and/or imprisoned 30 days to 1 year.
Temporary visitation (§ 5444)
There are also statutes regarding temporary visitation rights in circumstances where jurisdiction is in question:
(a) General rule - A court of this Commonwealth which does not have jurisdiction to modify a child custody determination may issue a temporary order enforcing: a visitation schedule made by a court of another state; or the visitation provisions of a child custody determination of another state that does not provide for a specific visitation schedule.
(b) Time to obtain permanent change If a court of this Commonwealth makes an order under subsection (a)(2), it shall specify in the order a period that it considers adequate to allow the petitioner to obtain an order from a court having jurisdiction under the criteria specified in Subchapter B (relating to jurisdiction).
When you need an attorney to represent you with your legal matters, contact the Law Offices of Michael Kuldiner, P.C. in order to obtain the best results possible in each case. To arrange a consultation, please give us a call at (215) 942-2100 or contact us by submitting the form at top right.