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What is considered "reasonable" visitation?

A non-custodial parent may be granted visitation time with their child when their child custody matter is resolved. While this will mean that their child will not live with them, it may mean that the parent will have access to their child and the opportunity to enjoy in-person experiences with them. In Florida and other jurisdictions, a parent may need a set schedule for their visitation time or they may be granted reasonable visitation.

Reasonable visitation can be a difficult concept to understand, because reasonableness will depend on many factors in any given custody and visitation case. For example, it may be unreasonable for a father to have a 12-hour stretch of visitation with his 6-week old infant if the child is exclusively breastfeeding, since it would deny the child access to its food source. However, for an older child with less specific needs, a lengthy period of visitation may be reasonable.

When a parent is granted reasonable visitation, then it is up to them and their child's other parent to figure out how best to support and foster the child's relationship with the non-custodial parent. They are responsible for making a schedule that accommodates the child's best interests, as well as the non-custodial parent's options for spending time with the child. To this end, the needs of the child, the availability of the parent and a host of other factors must be assessed to make a visitation schedule that is reasonable for a family.

Parents with visitation rights should be aware of interference that may jeopardize their opportunities to be with their children. If a parent fears that their co-parent is violating the terms of their visitation schedule, then the affected parent may wish to get more information about their family law options.

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