Not all relationships last; that is a fact of life. Though many marriages and domestic partnerships in Massachusetts end in a very cut-and-dry manner, separations that involve children can prove more difficult to manage. Custody rights and visitation right are always a top concern among parents who are seeking divorce. It is important to point out that these two rights are not interchangeable.
Having a visitation order from court authorities does not mean that the parent with whom the children will be visiting has any custody rights. This is simply a plan that has been created to provide the child with a way to foster a relationship with the parent that they are not living with. Parents can agree on visitation, or the court may give an order for their own plan.
There are two different kinds of custody rights that a divorced parent might have. The first is physical custody. This means that the child lives with the parent for the majority of the time. The second is legal custody, which gives the parent the authority to make critical decisions regarding the well-being of the child.
It is the mission of the court to satisfy the needs of the child, not the wants of the parents. This should always be kept in mind when dealing with co-parenting arrangements.
If you are seeking a divorce, it is important to be aware of your rights as a parent and know the differences between common court orders, such as visitation and custody. If you need more information, speaking with an experienced attorney may be beneficial.