I’m sorry you have to fight to be able to see your child. No loving parent should have to.
But now you’re stuck with a problem: how do you go about filing for visitation rights?
Thankfully, you’re in luck: I’ve compiled a short guide that will run you through the process of how to get visitation rights. So get ready: you might find the tools you need to see your kid again.
How To Get Visitation Rights: The Easy Way
The easiest way to get visitation rights is to start by filling out a formal petition you can get from the clerk of the court where the original custody case was handled. Any online database of legal document templates should also work.
After you fill it out and come to an agreement with the other parent on the terms, all you need is a signature from the judge, and you’re set.
If there is no prior family court case with the other parent (i.e, divorce), file the petition with the clerk of the court. From there, you will receive instructions to serve the other parent with the petition.
The petition must be served to the other parent, but not by you. You must find an adult who is not part of the case or has a stake in the outcome and have them serve it.
You are still responsible for ensuring they receive the petition, however.
After all that, a judge will likely send both of you to mediation so you both can work out the terms of your visitation without making it a matter for the courts. Coming to an agreement with the other parent before this point makes this even easier.
How To Get Visitation Rights: The Hard Way
Perhaps you don’t have a civil relationship with the other parent, or they are refusing to let you see your child.
If that is the case, you take all the steps I outlined above, but you will likely have to go through a hearing before a judge to plead your case.
Please note that if you are a father, you will have to bring both proof of paternity and proof that you have been paying child support to the court before the case can move forward.
From here, you must find an attorney. Some law firms actually specialize in cases involving child custody visitation and are often more reliable than public defenders on account of how swamped the latter can get in cases.
Your own image and life are also very important to the case: judges will look into your health, your employment status, and more.
Any sign that you may be dangerous for the child (i.e, addiction or not financially stable) will endanger your chances of gaining visitation rights.
Taking The Leap
Congratulations! You should now have a basic understanding of how to get visitation rights!
For more information, feel free to check your state website. They should offer a detailed description of both the visitation process and the specific law.
Best of luck, and remember to keep moving forward.
Newly middle-aged wife of 1, Mom of 3, Grandma of 2. A professional blogger who has lived in 3 places since losing her home to a house fire in October 2018 with her husband. Becky appreciates being self-employed which has allowed her to work from 'anywhere'. Life is better when you can laugh. As you can tell by her Facebook page where she keeps the humor memes going daily. Becky looks forward to the upcoming new year. It will be fun to see what 2020 holds.