Professionals generally agree that it is best if both parents are actively involved and engaged in the lives of their children. Visitation or “access,” therefore, is a critical factor in a divorce. Some parents can work together to come up with an agreement that addresses visitation. A visitation agreement may address regular weekly or biweekly visits, pickup and drop off locations, holiday schedules, summer and school vacations, special days (such as birthdays, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day), and more. By determining a set schedule for visitation, both parents and children know what to expect. This can prevent problems and questions from arising in the future.
Alabama encourages frequent and continuing contact with both parents. If you can prove a desire and ability to care for your children, you will be granted visitation rights. If an agreement is not in place granting you visitation, you can file a request for visitation with the court. Some parents are not happy with the current visitation arrangements. In that case, you can petition the court for a modification of visitation.
If a parent has blocked access to your visitation rights despite an existing visitation order, you may file a motion for contempt. The court will then consider if the visitation agreement was violated based upon the evidence you present. It is critical that you keep accurate records of visitation, phone calls, and any correspondence in which you were verbally or physically denied visitation. It will be necessary to present this information to the court. The court may then amend the visitation agreement or order a fine or even jail time. Remember that the access order was placed to allow you to contribute to the growth and well-being of your child. If your time is restricted in violation of the agreement, it is your right to take action.
As families blend and change, and parents take on jobs that allow them to telecommute or work flexible hours, visitation plans may become creative. In this way, both parents can maintain a solid relationship with their children and the bonds of parenthood may be maintained. Please contact the Zwiebel Law Firm today to learn more about Birmingham visitation agreements.