Our expert says:
Family law expert
What is reasonable depends on the particular circumstances of the family, the ages and needs of the children – a lot of factors. Often the court will simply stipulate that the parent who is not awarded custody should have 'reasonable access' to the children, leaving the timing and arrangements to the estranged couple.
If there is likely to be a dispute, a parent should attempt to have his or her rights set out clearly. This can be done by setting out specific arrangements in a consent paper, which will become an order of court when the divorce is granted. If there is no specific agreement, the parent who has custody of the children has the right to determine what access the other may have. However, he or she may not lay down unreasonable rules. The amount of access will depend on the circumstances of each case.
It is better to spell out the visitation rights in the agreement.
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