What Types of Visitation Are There?

Posted on May 11th, 2021

Divorce is a difficult process to go through. It’s the separation of a family you thought would last forever, but the most important thing during and after a divorce is the children. Any good parent would want what’s best for them, even if it means they don’t have full physical custody, and can only see them during visitation.

Physical custody is who the child of divorce is physically living with. Sometimes a child has split physical custody where they go between houses, or a bird’s nest custody where parents switch and allow the child to stay in the same home. Sometimes, it’s best for the child to live with one parent most of their time, and for another to see them during periods of visitation.

What is Visitation?

Visitation is the name for scheduled times and dates where a parent without physical custody may see their child on a regular basis. No one wants to see a loving parent go without seeing their child, but living arrangements and the child’s needs just have to come first. Visitation is a way to help make sure a parent who can’t always be with their child post-separation can still see them.

Visitation, like most things, comes in three forms which are designed to best meet the needs of the child, and then the visiting parent.

Unsupervised Visitation

This is the most common type, and the one you would seek out as the parent without rights to physical custody. With this kind of visitation, you may take your child to your own home or to a physical outing over a prespecified period. This would commonly look like a weekend visit or dinner during the week. There isn’t any limit to how much time you can spend with your child, as long as the parent with physical custody agrees.

The most common reason for visitation rights of this type of custody to be limited would be when the child is still an infant and breastfeeding. Then it would need to be close to the mother, and the parent visiting would need to keep the child close.

Supervised Visitation

This type is when the visiting parent must have another adult there when seeing the child. The courts typically appoint this if they have reason to believe the visiting parent may be unfit to supervise their child. This could be related to drug or abuse issues/allegations during the marriage and/or outside the marriage. The court must take into consideration the behavior of a visiting parent against the child, the other parent, and other people around them.

The other adult supervising can be a multitude of people. It can be the other parent, the child’s grandparent, a family member, a family friend, or an agency-related individual appointed by the court. The visiting parent can decide who the other supervising adult is, with approval by the other parent. The courts will not tell a parent they only have supervised visitation rather than unsupervised because they disagree on how the child should be raised.

Virtual Visitation

This type is where a parent and child are not able to physically see each other. Instead, appointments will be made where the parent can see the child through video conferencing technology of some kind, i.e. Zoom.

This kind of visitation is common for when the parent with physical custody is moving away from the parent without, but the parent without cannot follow. This type of visitation is less a replacement for the other two types, and more a stand-in. The goal is to allow the parent uncensored communication with the child, and maintain their bond until hopefully normal visitation can be re-established.

Protect Your Rights to Your Child With Kalinoski Law Offices

After divorce, the most important thing is having the right to see your child. If one parent having visitation rights is best for you and your child, Kalinoski Law Offices P.C. is an experienced Scranton family law firm that can help you navigate those proceedings.

If you need help protecting your visitation rights to your child, or making sure your partner’s visitation rights will keep your child safe, we give free scheduled consultations to review your case. If you have any questions about your current visitation rights, you can contact us as well.

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Craig Kalinoski
Craig Kalinoski

Craig P. Kalinoski is a respected attorney serving clients in Scranton, Pennsylvania. With a focus on Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Civil Rights, he has established himself as a top-rated legal professional. Recognized as a Rising Star and admired by peers, Craig's commitment to excellence sets him apart in the legal field.


We fight for the rights of our clients in a wide spectrum of practice areas, ranging from criminal defense to family law and personal injury.

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