Sometimes, a judge will issue a visitation order that simply calls for reasonable visitation of the child with their noncustodial parent. Parents receiving such an order may be confused about what this means.
Reasonable visitation is simply when the court leaves the visitation scheduling up to the parents to work out between themselves. It can be good in cases in which the parents get along reasonably well and desire a greater degree of flexibility than a rigid schedule provides.
In some cases, however, the custodial parent will use a reasonable visitation order to prevent the noncustodial parent from seeing the child very often. If that happens, the noncustodial parent may file a motion to modify the court’s visitation order to one that has a schedule, as it may be more appropriate. Letting the court know that the custodial parent is interfering with the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights is important in order to seek and successfully obtain a needed change.
People who are going through a child custody case should consider whether a reasonable visitation order or a fixed schedule would work better in their individual case. As in all child custody matters, the focus should always remain on the child’s best interests. Generally, courts believe that a child should be able to enjoy frequent visitation and contact with both parents.
If a parent already has a reasonable visitation order and the order is not working for them, they may want to seek the help of a family law attorney. The attorney may be able to help file a motion to modify the pre-existing order. Through an attorney, the moving party may be able to propose a change in custody or a specific visitation schedule that takes into account his or her employment.
Source: FindLaw, “Parental Visitation Rights FAQ,” Accessed on Jan. 14, 2015