Understanding Legal Challenges

Child Custody Vs. Visitation

If you're starting the process of fighting for custody of your child, you may know that the process can become quite complicated. In fact, you might learn new legal terms you aren't familiar with in family law.

For instance, you might already be familiar with child custody, but do you know how it's different from visitation? Should you fight visitation in favor of custody? Here's what you need to know.

Child Custody

Child custody is a legal term used to describe the rights and responsibilities of parents in regard to their children. A court will make a determination based on what's in the best interest of the child.

The court may award sole or joint custody depending on the situation, but generally speaking, both parents will have some involvement in decisions regarding their child's upbringing.

For example, you might have a custody agreement that gives you each equal legal custody to make decisions, but you might only have physical custody every other weekend.


In contrast to custody, visitation is the right of a non-custodial parent to spend time with their child. Visitation agreements may specify when and where a parent can visit with the child, as well as what types of activities they will be allowed to do.

In some cases, visitation is supervised. The court can order that visitation is supervised by a family member or even a court-appointed party.

Supervised visitation is often required in situations where one parent is deemed an unfit parent, or if the court believes that supervised visitation is in the best interest of the child.

When You Should Fight For Custody

If your child's other parent is asking the court that you have visitation, you may want to fight for custody. This is because custody gives you more rights than visitation.

With custody, you will have the right to make decisions about your child's upbringing and be involved in their daily life. Visitation doesn't give you the same rights.

Hire a Child Custody Lawyer to Fight For Custody

It's important to note that fighting for custody can be a difficult process and you should hire an experienced child custody lawyer to help. They will be able to guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights as a parent.

A good attorney will also be able to look out for your best interests by negotiating visitation agreements that are in your favor and work to get you the fairest custody arrangement possible.

To learn more, contact a child custody attorney in your area.