When parents divorce, children deserve to have a relationship with and be supported by both parents. To this end, the court generally awards visitation rights to the non-custodial father and orders the father to pay child support.
In almost all cases, the court awards non-custodial fathers visitation rights. The court usually orders a very specific visitation schedule that outlines exactly when the father will have visitation.
The Visitation Schedule
Make sure the visitation schedule includes when visitation will take place, with whom the child will spend holidays, and any other pertinent information. The visitation order should also indicate whether the father is allowed to have contact with the child between visits, by phone or e-mail.
Enforcing Visitation Rights
If the mother does not comply with the court-ordered visitation schedule, the father can go back to court and ask the judge to enforce the order. In some cases, failure to comply with court-ordered visitation may be grounds for a custody change.
Non-custodial fathers are usually ordered to pay child support. The amount of child support depends on a number of factors, including the father's income, the mother's income, and the needs of the child.
Child Support and Visitation
Child support and visitation are two separate issues. The custodial mother cannot refuse to allow the non-custodial father to visit his child just because he does not pay child support, and the non-custodial father cannot refuse to pay child support even if the mother is not complying with the court-ordered visitation schedule.