New Jersey parents who have been denied custody might wonder why and whether they will be allowed visitation rights. Judges make custody decisions that are in the best interests of the child, but if a judge decides against awarding custody to one parent, that does not mean the judge thinks the child is not safe with that parent. A judge may choose to award custody to the other parent because that parent has been the child’s main caregiver or as a way of minimizing disruption to a child’s life.
Most of the time, courts encourage children to develop a relationship with both parents. This means that a parent who does not have custody may still have ample visitation time. As part of the child custody hearing, a visitation schedule will be created. This may include certain weeknights and weekends. It may also cover holidays and vacations.
However, there are also cases in which parents may be denied visitation. This might happen because a parent has not had contact with a child or has not exercised previous visitation rights. It could also happen if the parent has a history of substance abuse or domestic violence. In such a case, a parent could still be granted supervised visitation. Another alternative is virtual visitation in which the parent has contact with the child using video chat or another medium.
Determining what custody and visitation rights a parent will have can be an emotional process for parents. In some cases, parents might be able to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation between themselves instead of going to court. However, they should still create a legal agreement since this offers protection if one parent does not follow the terms of the custody agreement. If the document needs to be changed later, parents can request a modification.