Visitation Rights

Even if your child lives with their other parent, you may still have a right to visitation with your child to establish or preserve a relationship with them. Tennessee’s child custody laws acknowledge that it is in a child’s best interests to have meaningful, sustained relationships with both of their parents. The Burdine Law Firm can evaluate your situation and explain whether you have a right to visitation with your child.

What Is Visitation?

Visitation is the legal term for a noncustodial parent’s right to have continued contact with their child when they do not have custody rights. During visitation, the parent spends time with their child, which may be in a public place, supervised, or at the parent’s home, depending on the situation and legal orders. Visitation is awarded in cases in which joint custody is not appropriate.

Who Has the Right to Visitation?

Before you can petition the court for visitation rights, you must establish paternity. Paternity can be established in different ways. For example, paternity is legally established if a couple was married when the child was born. Paternity can also be established by signing the birth certificate or acknowledgment.

Tennessee courts typically award visitation rights to noncustodial biological parents unless there is clear proof that the parent poses a threat to the child’s health or safety. Even if there is a past history of abuse, the court may still order visitation, but it may be supervised.

If a custodial parent has concerns that visitation would substantially harm the child’s physical or emotional health, they can contest visitation.

A custodial parent cannot relocate a child without getting the court’s approval if doing so would interfere with the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights.

Grandparents and stepparents may have the right to visitation in some circumstances.

Assistance with Parenting Plans

Parents can work out a parenting plan together to avoid having to litigate a case. The Nashville child custody attorneys at Burdine Law Firm can help prepare, modify, and review parenting plans. We can include information about:

  • How often visits should occur
  • The length of visits
  • Holiday schedules
  • Transportation details
  • Limitations
  • Whether visitations are supervised or unsupervised

Litigating Visitation Cases

If the parents cannot agree on visitation, the case proceeds as contested. The parent seeking visitation can present evidence about why it is in the child’s best interests to have visitation with them. The parent contesting visitation can present evidence to justify limiting or denying visitation.

When making visitation decisions, the court considers various factors, including:

  • The parent’s relationship with the child
  • Any evidence of abuse
  • The past relationship with the child, including as a primary caregiver
  • The physical, mental, emotional, or moral fitness to parent the child
  • The child’s preference
  • The child’s emotional needs and developmental level
  • The child’s relationship with other relatives
  • The character and behavior of any other person the child would have contact with if visitation was permitted

The family law attorneys in Nashville at the Burdine Law Firm have helped parents seek and challenge visitation requests. We can help gather evidence and persuasively represent your case in court.

Call Us for Help with Your Child Visitation Case

If you would like to learn more about your legal rights and options regarding child custody, contact the Burdine Law Firm. You can call (629) 299-2228 to arrange a free consultation to discuss your case with an experienced Tennessee family lawyer.