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Author Topic: RO and Visitation - TIMELY MATTER  (Read 2255 times)


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RE: PS...and
« Reply #10 on: May 12, 2006, 11:32:59 AM »
>All the other people calling on BM's behalf is 3rd party
>harrassment and should be reported also.  This happened to us
>we had every Tom dick and Harry calling us to cuss us, yell at
>us, and threaten us and they were all warned one by one by the
>Sheriff and it stopped.  In MN the TRO expressly explains this
>in the orders.
>Side note..
>1. BF has Full Physical Custody and 50 Legal.  EOW BM has
>"visitation" is the word used in our orders or "parenting
>time" throughout. Soc, I keep seeing that you say "visitation"
>vs. "custody". What would you classify that scenario under?
>Custody rights or Vistation rights?

Orders that mix visitation and custody are confusing and bad drafting in my opinion. Visitation is a license to personally visit the child. Custody is the right to control and care for the child. Hybrid orders like yours are ambiguous and not useful.

Physical custody is the right to day-to-day control over the child. Legal custody is the right to make major long term decisions as to the child's welfare. If a parent has sole physical custody and the other parent has visitation, then the visiting parent has only a non-delegable license to visit the child, despite the power to make long term decisions regarding the child's welfare.

This is a non-sequitur, because there are almost no circmstances where the NCP parent's decision cannot be overridden by a subsequent decisions by the custodial parent. In short, your order was made to throw the custodial parent a bone, so he felt like he was getting something, when in reality, he wasn't getting much of anything. About the only thing that such an award permits is the possibility to stop a move away because it's not in the child's interests, or something like cosmetic surgery or enrollment in a religious school in preference to a public school.

Other than that, any order that allocates physical custody, visitation and legal custody, is probably too ambiguous for any reasonable interpretation.

The better practice is to award joint legal custody and primary and secondary physical custody. The word visitation should only be reserved for situations where an NCP is a real problem for the child and heavy restrictions on access must be maintained. Otherwise, visitation should never appear in any order, because it degrades the NCP, and unnecessarily complicates the legal interpretation of the orders.

Having said all this, if you want me to analyze a particular situation, you'll need to give me a set of facts to which to apply your orders.


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