Ask A Lawyer: Visitation Expectations

Question:

I am a dad of a 2-year-old daughter. My wife filed for divorce and took our daughter with her to another state (PA) in June 2007, claiming that I was emotionally abusive.

We have a trial in mid-February in New Jersey about custody and visitation. Right now, she is the parent of primary residence and I am alternate residence. I am not from this country and I do not have my permanent citizenship status.

I want a shared parenting plan. Do you think I will be able to get shared parenting even though I am not a legal citizen? What is normal visitation for 2 year old children?

 

Answer:

“Normal “ visitation for a 2 year old will likely vary depending on where you are.  Some states have uniform visitation guidelines but no all do.  The visitation may be left up to the sole discretion of the judge.  Some state will have differing schedules for children under 3. 

The visitation you receive will be determined based on the best interest of your child.  It is normally accepted that it is the best interest of any child to have a relationship with both parents. 

Shared parenting is more likely when parents have both been equally involved in the day to day care of the child and live in close proximity.   However, there are many factors that are used to determine custody and parenting time.  If custody and parenting time are at issue, it may be a good idea to seek a professional evaluator to make a recommendation to the court. 

 

Clarissa Finnell is an Associate Attorney in the Indianapolis office of Cordell & Cordell, P.C. She is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association and has been licensed in Indiana since 1997.  Read more about Clarissa Finnell.

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