What Are My Rights as a Father to See My Child After a Divorce?

Written by kimberly turtenwald
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What Are My Rights as a Father to See My Child After a Divorce?
A divorce may split up a family, but both parents still have the right to see their children. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

After a divorce, the children are typically sent back and forth between the mother's and father's homes. The actual amount of time varies depending on the type of custody that is established in the divorce court order --- it is a court that will set forth what rights a father has to his children after a divorce.

Joint Custody

Also known as shared placement, joint custody means that, in essence, both parents are given half the time with the children. However, the time does not necessarily equate out to exactly equal time. There is no set way in which the time should be split up. If the parents live close together, the children may live in one household for one week and the other household the next. For others, the weeks are split in half and sometimes, even the days can be split up to avoid paying day care costs. This type of agreement will list out exactly how much time the father will get with the children.

Sole Custody With Mother

In some cases, the mother of the children is granted sole physical custody of the children, which means they spend a majority of their time with her. This does not, however, mean that the father does not have rights to see the children. A court order of this type may list out specific times in which the father is granted visitation. Every other weekend, one evening a week and alternating holidays is a common visitation schedule. Sometimes, though, visitation may be listed as whenever the parties agree, giving the power to the mother to decide if and when the father gets visits.

Sole Custody With Father

Less common than sole custody with the mother, some fathers are granted sole custody. This is more likely to happen if the mother has issues that may endanger the children. If a father is granted this type of custody, it is the same as if the mother had sole custody. The court order will either list out specific visitation times for the mother or will give the father the power to decide if and when the mother can visit her children. With this type of custody order, the children live primarily with their father.

Supervised Visitation

Typically assigned with sole custody, some fathers are granted only supervised visits. A court does not look at these types of visits lightly. These visits are most often assigned when there is a restraining order against the father or the father poses a danger to his children. This allows the children to develop a relationship with their father while being kept safe. Sometimes these visits are temporary and graduate up to regular visitation. In other cases, supervised visits are all the father gets. When supervised visits are ordered, the father has no other visitation rights outside of the supervised visits.

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