Family law (also called matrimonial law or the law of domestic relations) is an area of the law that deals with family matters and domestic relations.
Subjects that commonly fall under a nation's body of family law include:
* Marriag ...
, contact, visitation and access are synonym terms that denotes the time that a child spends with the noncustodial parent
, according to an agreed or court specified parenting schedule
/ref> The visitation term is not used in a
Shared parenting, shared residence, joint residence, shared custody, joint physical custody, equal parenting time (EPT) is a child custody arrangement after divorce or separation, in which both parents share the responsibility of raising their ... arrangement where the mother and father have joint physical custody
Shared parenting, shared residence, joint residence, shared custody, joint physical custody, equal parenting time (EPT) is a child custody arrangement after divorce or separation, in which both parents share the responsibility of raising their .... [Jennifer Wolf, Types of custody and visitation, Very Well Family, January 27, 2019.]
Unsupervised visitation is the most common type, when the parent may take the child to his or her home or enjoy any outing with the child. In supervised visitation, another adult must be present, and there is sometimes a court order to occur at a predetermined supervised child contact centre. Virtual visitation uses video-conferencing technology to allow contact when a child lives far away from the parent. [
In most jurisdictions the nature of a couple's relationship is established when a child is born to that relationship. In law, there may be differences in the consequences depending on whether the relationship is opposite-sex or same-sex, and whether it is in the form of a
Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses. It establishes rights and obligations between them, as well as between them and their children, and between t ..., a civil union
A civil union (also known as a civil partnership) is a legally recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created primarily as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant some or all of the rights of marriag ... or registered partnership, or cohabitation
Cohabitation is an arrangement where people who are not married, usually couples, live together. They are often involved in a romantic or sexually intimate relationship on a long-term or permanent basis. Such arrangements have become increas ... without marriage. When one parent has sole custody of a child, there is usually court ordered ''contact''/''visitation'' with the non-custodial parent. The purpose is to ensure that the child can continue to maintain a relationship with both parents after divorce or separation, as well as in situations where the parents have never lived together. A common contact schedule is that the child spends every other weekend with the non-custodial parent, one weekday evening, certain holidays and a few weeks of summer vacation.
Children are subject to the authority of their parents during the early years of their life, during what is termed their minority. States impose a range of incapacities until the children reach an age when they are deemed sufficiently mature to take responsibility for their own actions. Issues of access and custody interact and overlap, and represent all of the aspects of care and control that parents may exercise in relation to their children. The extent to which the courts have jurisdiction to regulate access will depend on the nature of the parents' relationship. In the event of the breakdown of the relationship between a minor child's parents, a court may define or modify a parent's access rights to the child within the context of proceedings for legal separation
Legal separation (sometimes judicial separation, separate maintenance, divorce ', or divorce from bed-and-board) is a legal process by which a married couple may formalize a separation while remaining legally married. A legal separation is gra ..., annulment
Annulment is a legal procedure within secular and religious legal systems for declaring a marriage null and void. Unlike divorce, it is usually retroactive, meaning that an annulled marriage is considered to be invalid from the beginning almost ..., divorce
Divorce (also known as dissolution of marriage) is the process of terminating a marriage or marital union. Divorce usually entails the canceling or reorganizing of the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage, thus dissolving the ... or child custody
Child custody is a legal term regarding '' guardianship'' which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person's care. Child custody consists of ''legal custody'', which is the righ .... Custody and access rights may be established in other manners, such as adoption
Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person's biological or legal parent or parents. Legal adoptions permanently transfer all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from ... or legal guardian
A legal guardian is a person who has been appointed by a court or otherwise has the legal authority (and the corresponding duty) to make decisions relevant to the personal and property interests of another person who is deemed incompetent, call ...ship. In some cases a court may appoint a guardian ad litem appointed to represent any child's interests within the context of custody litigation.
Residential parent is that parent with whom the children are staying in the majority of the time. This term started to be used since the implementation of the joint custody since both parents have the custody of the child but, usually the child lives in the house of one of them the majority of his or her time.
The non-residential parent is that parent that has been granted with the child custody but only accommodates the child in their house for limited periods of time.
Under ''supervised visitation'', another adult must be present during the contact hours. It is used to ensure the safety of the child while still allowing for a child-parent relationship. It may for example be used if there is a history of
Domestic violence (also known as domestic abuse or family violence) is violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation. ''Domestic violence'' is often used as a synonym for ''intimate partner ..., child abuse
Child abuse (also called child endangerment or child maltreatment) is physical, sexual, and/or psychological maltreatment or neglect of a child or children, especially by a parent or a caregiver. Child abuse may include any act or failure to ... or child neglect
A form of child abuse, child neglect is an act of caregivers (e.g., parents) that results in depriving a child of their basic needs, such as the failure to provide adequate supervision, health care, clothing, or housing, as well as other physica ..., or if the parent has a substance abuse
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, is the use of a drug in amounts or by methods which are harmful to the individual or others. It is a form of substance-related disorder. Differing definitions of drug abuse are used in public health, ... problem or a mental illness
A mental disorder, also referred to as a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. Such features may be persistent, relapsing and remitti .... Supervised visitation may have no location restrictions, or it may be ordered to occur at a specific child contact centre. Supervised visitation can be temporary in nature and changed to unsupervised visitation.
With virtual visitation, the child communicates with the parent through
Videotelephony, also known as videoconferencing and video teleconferencing, is the two-way or multipoint reception and transmission of audio and video signals by people in different locations for real time communication.McGraw-Hill Concise En ..., video mail, email
Electronic mail (email or e-mail) is a method of exchanging messages ("mail") between people using electronic devices. Email was thus conceived as the electronic (digital) version of, or counterpart to, mail, at a time when "mail" meant ... or instant messages. It can be ordered by a court and it is often used when the child lives far away from a parent. It may also be used if a parent is in prison
A prison, also known as a jail, gaol (dated, standard English, Australian, and historically in Canada), penitentiary ( American English and Canadian English), detention center (or detention centre outside the US), correction center, corre .... Virtual visitation is meant to complement rather than to replace standard physical contact time.
As a specific application of '' parens patriae'' (see
Public policy is an institutionalized proposal or a decided set of elements like laws, regulations, guidelines, and actions to solve or address relevant and real-world problems, guided by a conception and often implemented by programs. Public ... and the concept of best interests), most states treat the interests of any children caught up in litigation
A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil court of law. The archaic term "suit in law" is found in only a small number of laws still in effect today. The term "lawsuit" is used in reference to a civil acti ... as their first and paramount concern. Usually, the children are not directly the parties to the lawsuit
A lawsuit is a proceeding by a party or parties against another in the civil court of law. The archaic term "suit in law" is found in only a small number of laws still in effect today. The term "lawsuit" is used in reference to a civil acti ..., so the courts have a range of options including the power to appoint a guardian ''ad litem'' to protect their interests. This is particularly important in cases involving the breakdown of any family relationship where questions relating to the welfare of the children will become significant in sometimes acrimonious disputes. At a supranational level, the Convention on the Rights of the Child
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (commonly abbreviated as the CRC or UNCRC) is an international human rights treaty which sets out the civil, political, economic, social, health and cultural rights of children. The Con ... emphasises the need to allow children a voice in any proceedings affecting their welfare. Significantly, it also suggests a change to the terminology, replacing "custody" and "access" with the concepts of "residence" and "contact".
However, the most common legal outcome to cases involving the issues of care and control reinforces the sexual stereotype
In social psychology, a stereotype is a generalized belief about a particular category of people. It is an expectation that people might have about every person of a particular group. The type of expectation can vary; it can be, for example ... that a mother
A mother is the female parent of a child. A woman may be considered a mother by virtue of having given birth, by raising a child who may or may not be her biological offspring, or by supplying her ovum for fertilisation in the case of gestat ... is always the better qualified person to care for younger children. Whereas some jurisdictions formally prefer joint custody arrangements in situations where there has previously been a stable family relationship, many states have a formalised rebuttable presumption
In common law and civil law, a rebuttable presumption (in Latin, ''praesumptio iuris tantum'') is an assumption made by a court that is taken to be true unless someone proves otherwise. For example, a defendant in a criminal case is presumed inn ... in favour of the mother.
European Union law
The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe. The union has a total area of and an estimated total population of about 447million. The EU has often been de ... has set up machinery for the mutual recognition of Family Law judgments through Council Regulation 2201/2003 which continues the harmonisation of the rules on jurisdiction and on the recognition and enforcement of all judgments on parental responsibility. The intention is to ensure that parental responsibility orders can be recognised and enforced through a uniform procedure. The courts in the Member State where the child is habitually resident have the primary jurisdiction to rule on parental responsibility. The courts in the other Member States shall enforce those judgments unless:
*this infringes public policy in the given Member Statean extremely unlikely eventuality;
*the child has not been given the opportunity to be heard except in cases of genuine urgency (in all cases, the fundamental right of every child to be heard and for his or her views to be given due weight in accordance with their age and maturity, is provided in Article 24 Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (CFR) enshrines certain political, social, and economic rights for European Union (EU) citizens and residents into EU law. It was drafted by the European Convention and solemnly procla ... which also states that the child's best interest shall be the primary consideration in all cases affecting their interests, whether initiated by public authorities or private institutions);
*the person claiming that the judgment infringes his or her rights of parental responsibility has not been given an opportunity to be heard, or was not allowed a reasonable time to prepare his or her defense (see natural justice
In English law, natural justice is technical terminology for the rule against bias ('' nemo iudex in causa sua'') and the right to a fair hearing ('' audi alteram partem''). While the term ''natural justice'' is often retained as a general co ...); and
*the judgment is irreconcilable with a second subsisting judgment (under certain conditions).
Following a proposal from the Commission in May 2002, a regulation on parental responsibility which was adopted on 27 November 2003 and applies from 1 March 2005:
*ensures the right of the child to maintain contact with both parents even when the parents live in different Member States by allowing automatic recognition and enforcement of judgments on access rights, and
*seeks to prevent parental child abduction
Child abduction or child theft is the unauthorized removal of a minor (a child under the age of legal adulthood) from the custody of the child's natural parents or legally appointed guardians.
The term ''child abduction'' includes two leg ... within the Community. The courts of the Member State of the child's residence before abduction always have the jurisdiction. Some parents have abducted children to their own states in the hope of receiving more favourable treatment. The courts of the abducting parent's nationality can only refuse to return the child immediately if this is necessary:
::either because there is a grave risk that the child would be in danger if he or she returned, or
::if the child has attained a certain age and maturity and does not want to return.
:But the court in the state where the child resided before the abduction takes the final decision as to where the child shall stay, and such decisions must be respected in the state of current residence.
Contact Orders are made under s8 Children Act 1989 to require the person(s) with whom a child lives to allow that child to visit, stay or have contact with a person named in the order. Orders continue until the child is 16 years. So long as the child is not under the care of a local authority, the following people can apply for a Contact Order:
#the parent or guardian of a child (s10(4)(a));
#anyone who holds a Residence Order in respect of that child (s10(4)(b));
#a married stepparent of the child where the child lived with the stepparent as a child of the family (s10(5)(a));
#anyone with whom the child has lived for at least three years (this period need not have been continuous but must have been recent) (s10(5)(b));
:a) where there is already a Residence Order in place has the consent of every one who holds that order or
:b) who has the consent of the local authority where the child is in their care or
:c) has the consent of every one who has parental responsibility for the child.
If an applicant cannot apply for the order as of right they can make an application to the court seeking leave to issue the application. In deciding whether to grant the leave the court will consider under s10(9), amongst other things:
#the nature of the application;
#the applicant's connection with the child;
#the risk there might be if the proposed application disrupting the child's life to such an extent that they should be harmed by it.
Under s11, the court must attempt to avoid delay in making an Order. The court will only make contact orders for children over sixteen years old in exceptional circumstances. Contact can either be direct e.g. face-to-face meetings with a person or indirect e.g. by letter, video, exchange of greeting cards etc. Some orders will be very specific as to times, dates and arrangements for contact, other orders will be more open with detailed arrangements to be made between the parties by agreement. These orders are not just obtained by parents for contact with their children, there can also be orders for contact between siblings or the child and wider family members. Sometimes the order will give directions that the contact is to be supervised by a third person. The order may also only be for a specific period or contain provisions which operate for a specific period. These are Orders of the court and a failure to comply can be a
contempt of court
Contempt of court, often referred to simply as "contempt", is the crime of being disobedient to or disrespectful toward a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies the authority, justice, and dignity of the cour ... with serious consequences.
Contact represents a change in fundamental concept to disputes involving the upbringing of children. Prior to The Children Act 1989 in the jurisdiction of England & Wales nd in Scotland in the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 an adult was usually granted 'access to' a child; now a child is to be allowed 'contact with an adult' r stepbrother/sister Sixteen years after the Children Act 1989 became law, judges and the media in England still on occasion refer to 'custody and access' instead of 'residence and contact', and some judges are making orders such as 'father to have contact with the child' contrary to 'the child be allowed contact with father' as it argued by certain legal establishments the difference is minimal and in nomenclature only. The law is quiet clear that 'a residence order' undoubtedly gives additional rights to the residential parent, and does diminish the parental responsibility of the non-residential parent, in various ways.
Hoggett/code>. Therefore, custody and residence, or contact and access can be in some circumstances be interchangeable concepts in family law. The argument that 'winner no longer takes all' in contact/residence access/custody disputes does not hold water.
In Japan, there is no legal guarantee of access by a noncustodial parent. Despite this, courts do often grant access rights to a noncustodial parent in the event of a divorce, or to the father of a child born out of wedlock, who by law is declared noncustodial by default. However, these court ordered visits are often only for several hours once a month, and in some cases, only once a year. Further, courts will not enforce these access provisions when the custodial parent is not co-operative. Several groups are working to change related laws and provide more detailed information on these laws and alternatives.
Generally speaking, visitation is considered only a ''privilege'' granted to the non-custodial parent of any
A child ( : children) is a human being between the stages of birth and puberty, or between the developmental period of infancy and puberty. The legal definition of ''child'' generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger ... of the family
Family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of the family is to maintain the well-being of its members and of society. Ideal .... The standard short-distance parenting plan by the family court
Family courts were originally created to be a Court of Equity convened to decide matters and make orders in relation to family law, including custody of children, and could disregard certain legal requirements as long as the petitioner/plaintiff ... in most U.S. states consists of alternating weekends and some holidays, there are also medium and long-distance parental plans that allow to combine these visits into a longer stretches of time to reduce traveling. Parents normally can make variations to the state standard parenting plan or develop a different custom plan if a judge approve the changes. In most of the states there is a law required that court-ordered parenting plans must set forth the minimum amount of parenting time and access a noncustodial parent is entitled to have.
However, the child, at or around the age of 13, depending on the state, may have a right to testify in court about custody and parenting plan arrangements that may have a big impact on court decision.
Parents (and in most States Grandparents) frequently believe that they have "a right" to visitation or access. However, when custodial parental interference with visitation occurs, civil courts in the U.S. do not enforce their own court orders. Usually citing, "best interests of the child" and reasoning punishment of the custodial parent to enforce the visitation order would further harm the child(ren) in question. Some States are looking at changing that by making visitation interference a criminal offence.
Most noncustodial parents have visitation orders that allow the child to visit with them without any supervision, away from the custodial residence. But sometimes when there are safety problems or child abuse history, the court can set up a supervised or "safety-focused" parenting plan. Also, a court can order the visitation to be supervised by a social worker
Social work is an academic discipline and practice-based profession concerned with meeting the basic needs of individuals, families, groups, communities, and society as a whole to enhance their individual and collective well-being. Social work ..., parenting coordinator, guardian ad litem, or other third party while the noncustodial parent visits with the child. This is called supervised visitation.
Parents may also agree to share custody and agree to allow visitation without going to court. In these situations, so it does not seem like a court order may not be needed, it should be obtained to forestall later disputes about what the parents had previously agreed to, and to allow the courts to have some oversight over the children (which they normally have under statute and under the ''parens patriae'' power). If the parenting plan agreed by parties before the court hearing, it is called "stipulated". Judges can approve the stipulated parenting plan without a court hearing. Judges are to normally encourage parties to reach the agreement, rather than go to hearing. By statistic, most family law cases (90–95%) settle before the judge rules on them.
In at least 27 states, a rapist who got their victim pregnant can legally sue for visitation, and in some cases even custody.Imagine You Were Raped. Got Pregnant. Then Your Rapist Sought Custody.
Mary G. Harris Jones (1837 (baptized) – November 30, 1930), known as Mother Jones from 1897 onwards, was an Irish-born American schoolteacher and dressmaker who became a prominent union organizer, community organizer, and activist. She ...
Child custody is a legal term regarding '' guardianship'' which is used to describe the legal and practical relationship between a parent or guardian and a child in that person's care. Child custody consists of ''legal custody'', which is the righ ...
* Children's centre
* Shared parenting
Shared parenting, shared residence, joint residence, shared custody, joint physical custody, equal parenting time (EPT) is a child custody arrangement after divorce or separation, in which both parents share the responsibility of raising their ...
* Supervised visitation
* Virtual Visitation