Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
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What visitation rights do non-custodial parents have?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Family Law |

Visitation rights are an important aspect of family law to ensure non-custodial parents’ ability to maintain a relationship with their children even after a divorce or separation.

In Mississippi, the law supports the involvement of both parents in the child’s life, believing it enhances the child’s well-being.

What are visitation rights?

Visitation rights allow a non-custodial parent to spend time with their children according to a schedule set by the court. These schedules can vary widely but often include weekends, holidays and parts of summer vacations. The court’s primary concern, which guides all decisions regarding visitation, is the best interests of the child.

How does the court determine visitation?

When a court in Mississippi determines visitation rights, it considers several factors. The age and health of the child, the child’s school schedule and the distance between the parents’ homes play significant roles in the decisions. The court also examines the parenting abilities and the historical relationship between the non-custodial parent and the child. Above all, any history of abuse or neglect by the non-custodial parent will significantly impact the court’s decisions.

Types of visitation

Mississippi recognizes several types of visitation:

  • Unsupervised visitation: This is the most common type, where the non-custodial parent spends time alone with the child without any supervision.
  • Supervised visitation: The court orders this type of visitation when the non-custodial parent’s ability to care for the child is in question, or there are concerns about the child’s safety.
  • Virtual visitation: With advancements in technology, courts are increasingly allowing parents to interact with their children through video calls. This type of visitation is particularly useful when parents live far apart

A non-custodial parent has the right to request a modification of the visitation order if significant changes in circumstances occur. For example, if a parent moves closer to the child or if the child’s schedule changes, the court may reconsider the visitation schedule. To modify visitation, the parent must demonstrate that the change will serve the child’s best interests.

Challenges and solutions

Non-custodial parents sometimes face challenges in exercising their visitation rights, such as interference from the custodial parent or personal schedule conflicts. To overcome these challenges, parents must communicate effectively and prioritize the child’s needs. If issues persist, legal intervention may be necessary to ensure compliance with the visitation order.

Understanding and respecting the visitation guidelines set forth by Mississippi law can help non-custodial parents maintain a healthy and active presence in their children’s lives.


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