Visitation

In New York, visitation for the non-custodial parent is deemed a privilege, and only in the most egregious of situations will visitation be denied or limited. As with awards of custody, the court is free to fashion a visitation schedule based upon the best interests of the child after a consideration of an innumerable set of factors.

Nevertheless, the court is vested with sufficient authority to impose conditions upon visitation to ensure the continued safety and well-being of the child. These conditions include - but are not limited to - restricting the location, hours, and presence of third parties.

However, the courts are generally sensitive to efforts by a custodial parent to alienate the affections of their children towards the non-custodial parent. As with custodial interference, any perceived interference with a non-custodial parent's visitation privileges may serve as grounds for a change of custody, although this is only reserved for the most flagrant instances.

It should also be noted that a non-custodial parent's duty to pay child support is independent of his or her visitation privileges. Simply put, the non-custodial parent's failure to pay child support is not grounds, in and of itself, to deny his or her visitation. By the same token, a custodial parent's denial or interference with the non-custodial parent's visitation does not relieve the non-custodial parent of the support obligation. However, Domestic Relations Law section 241 permits a suspension of the support obligation under certain circumstances, but in no instance without making proper application.

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267 Carleton Ave.,
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Central Islip, NY 11722
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Sag Harbor, NY 11963
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